FBI says accused Jan. 6 rioter tried to attack police at U.S. Capitol with Taser

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File photo: Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump climb on walls at the U.S. Capitol. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

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WASHINGTON, Aug 12 (Reuters) - A judge on Thursday ordered a Pennsylvania man who prosecutors accuse of running at police during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot with an electrical Taser device to remain jailed pending trial.

Alan Byerly, 54, who was arrested on riot-related charges on July 7, agreed to his continued detention, his court-appointed lawyer James McHugh told U.S. Magistrate Judge Robin Meriwether.

A prosecution document requesting Byerly's pre-trial detention described him as "a brazen and violent participant" in the riot on Jan. 6, when supporters of then-President Donald Trump sought to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden's election victory.

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Prosecutors said Byerly, of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, was seen near a police line on the Capitol's west side with what appeared to be "a Taser device" which he then, seemingly without provocation, switched on and proceeded to charge at police.

Police managed to grab the Taser, prosecutors said, but Byerly "continued to charge toward the officers." Later, prosecutors said, Byerly was involved with other protestors in an attack on an Associated Press photographer.

More than 570 people have faced charges arising from the riot. At least 36 have pleaded guilty to riot-related charges.

Earlier, U.S. magistrate judge Peter Silvain in Dayton, Ohio, agreed to pretrial release of David Mehaffie, 62, of Kettering, Ohio, who faces five riot-related charges. Mehaffie is charged with other defendants accused of forming a "shield wall" of stolen police equipment as they battled officers at the Capitol.

Four people died on the day of the Capitol attack. One was shot dead by police and the other three of natural causes. A Capitol Police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the following day. Four police officers who took part in the defense of the Capitol later took their own lives. More than 100 police officers were injured.

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Reporting By Mark Hosenball; editing by Grant McCool

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