Westporter Arrested For January 6 Capitol Assault

A Westport man was arrested early this morning, in connection with an assault on US Capitol police officers during the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

Authorities set up a staging area at Coleytown Elementary School and surrounded the Bayberry Ridge home of Benjamin Cohen, around 6 a.m. “It was a classic ‘come out with your hands up!’ scenario,” a source told “06880.”

A press release from the US Department of Justice Attorney’s Office in Washington says:

A Connecticut man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, including assaulting law enforcement, related to his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Benjamin Cohen, 21, of Westport, Connecticut, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, both felony offenses. In addition to the felonies, Cohen is charged with several misdemeanor offenses, including entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, and engaging in an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds or buildings.

Cohen was arrested today in Westport and made his initial appearance in the District of Connecticut.

Benjamin Cohen, at the US Capitol. (Photo courtesy of US Department of Justice)

According to court documents, Cohen was identified by law enforcement authorities among the crowd of rioters gathered along a police line on the West Plaza of the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021. Just before 2:29 p.m., open-source video and body-worn camera footage show Cohen joining rioters in breaching the police line and moving toward a group of officers. Cohen is then seen making physical contact with the group of officers by pushing and shoving them with his hands as the crowd surges forward. Seconds later, Cohen rushes toward the officers again, shoving and striking officers with his hands. At some point shortly thereafter, video footage shows Cohen standing in the crowd of rioters, where he can be heard shouting, “Our House!”

Later, at approximately 2:48 p.m., Cohen is seen entering the Lower West Terrace tunnel, joining other rioters assembling against a police line. Cohen then makes his way deeper into the mob and begins to push against a rioter in front of him as additional rioters join the effort around him. Together, the mob pushed in a concerted “heave-ho” effort against the police line in the tunnel.

After the first “heave-ho,” Cohen participated in subsequent efforts in the tunnel against the police line. At approximately 2:56 p.m., a rush of additional rioters entered the tunnel, and those rioters, including Cohen, engaged in another “heave-ho” effort by moving their bodies in unison back and forth, pushing with coordinated force against the police.

By approximately 3:05 p.m., Cohen made his way back to the tunnel entrance and began rinsing his eyes after having apparently been sprayed by officers. Cohen remained with the mob just outside the tunnel until at least approximately 4:01 p.m., where he continued to assist combined efforts by the mob to push back into the tunnel.

Court documents say that at some point thereafter, Cohen was photographed inside an office inside the Capitol building situated with a window, which had been broken, just to the left of the tunnel entrance. Cohen is then seen in open-source video departing this office through the broken window.

This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.

This case is being investigated by the FBI’s New Haven and Washington Field Offices, which identified Cohen as BOLO (“Be On the Look Out”) #379 on its seeking information photos.

Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

In the 31 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,106 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

79 responses to “Westporter Arrested For January 6 Capitol Assault

  1. Shameful. If found guilty, he should be locked up.

  2. Max Henry Kaplan

    Glad that a violent insurrectionist will face justice.

  3. I’m sure his parents are real proud of their son. It took a deliberate effort to become a rioter and a traitor to this country. Harming police officers doing their job demands a severe criminal penalty. Trump and his cult must pay for their assault on our democracy.

  4. Susan iseman

    Gee, was it worth it? I’ll stop there.

  5. Richard Fogel

    May I suggest we go easy on the kid. I do not like the Republican Party. But it’s easy to take advantage of depressed people and or mentally impaired. Sometimes parents cannot control children. Parents may be good and moral but the children sometimes not. Please be understanding. If the kid is not impaired then I hope Justice will come his way.

    • Susan Iseman

      Easy ? Define that – law enforcement professional were hurt badly. If you want to dance to the music, be prepared to pay the piper. He needs to experience what the other 1/6 offenders who are already about to be incarcerated.Crime doesn’t pay, and hopefully they will all get their just desserts.

      • Richard Fogel

        Mental illness is not as simple as your reply. I understand your position. Who knows the mental state of this young man ? Wait. Be patient. Cult leaders make people drink cool aid.

    • Russell Gontar

      Yes, he could have mental health issues. He could also be a stone cold insurrectionist, I mean, Republican.

    • Elizabeth Mala Coe

      He isn’t a kid. He was 18 at the time and is 21 now, and he traveled with his mom to attend the rally, so he is learning from those around him. He is entitled to a presumption of innocence, but you are suggesting affording him a privilege not accorded to most young men accused of brutal crimes in this country and I see zero reason why he should be granted such leeway. Perhaps if more accountability had been required of him or others like him earlier in life he wouldn’t have committed such vile acts.

  6. Jack Backiel

    Did he chant, “Hang Mike Pence?”

  7. Joyce Barnhart

    “The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.”

  8. Jack Backiel

    There was a Denise Cohen who lived on Bauer Place. This guy could easily be her grandson. She was born in 1947.

  9. Andrea Williams

    Wait. No photos of Foti during the ‘come out with your hands up”?

  10. Cristina Negrin

    His parents must be so proud….

  11. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Hmmmh, what year did he graduate Staples?

  12. Jack Backiel

    I’d like to make one more comment about relevance. My grandfather came to Westport 120 years ago, and my father was born in Westport, in a farmhouse. Sometimes my so called “irrelevant” comments give insight into a Westport many current residents wouldn’t ,or couldn’t, know about.

  13. Elizabeth McDonnell

    I’d be so interested in learning exactly how he was identified, assuming he didn’t have a prior arrest record. How did they do that? It’s kind of amazing.

    • Kevin McCaul

      I guess they used some sort of facial recognition software and checked with DMV?

    • John D McCarthy

      Check out today’s Westport Journal’s article on how they did this. Very good reporting.

    • Elizabeth Mala Coe

      Started with a tip. Someone identified him. Then used pictures, etc.

  14. Jack Backiel

    Andrea, It seems Dan’s Friday flashback posts get a lot of comments and commenters reminisce. You may not care about the Westport of long ago, but others seem to find it interesting. Have a wonderful evening!

  15. Thomas Jendrock

    The price for Treason is execution…

    • Not to be pedantic, but this is sedition, not treason. The maximum penalty for sedition is 20 years.

      Curious if the parents were harboring their son all of this time, with knowledge of his crimes?

  16. How sad that this young man apparently fell into the rabbit hole of deceit and deception that is today’s Republican Party. That rabbit hole was created by people and money. I encourage anyone who is considering donating money to any Republican candidate to read what Judge Luttig has to say about the state of today’s Republican Party before doing so: https://www.mediaite.com/tv/retired-conservative-judge-declares-american-democracy-in-grave-peril-because-there-is-no-republican-party/ .

    • Richard Fogel

      Amen the problem is up is down His supporters are under his control. It’s my opinion most are blatant racists Most dislike American tradition and democracy

  17. Richard Fogel

    Todays westport journal says Cohen lives on Bayberry Ridge Road. It said he was taken to the rally with his mother. Incredible

  18. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    If his parent’s had just posted a Hate Has No Home Here yard sign I bet the FBI would have left him alone.

  19. This person was a child who got swept up in the moment and made a mistake. Shame on all of you, but especially Dan for yet again allowing the pitchforks to come out. It’s one thing to report on the news but it’s another to allow hateful comments and the doxing of fellow members of our community (particularly the parents and siblings who may not have even known about his actions). But hey, anything for clicks, am I right?

    • Of course, you could completely ignore that he traveled there with his mother, to the Capitol, to support Trump. But hey, anything for clicks, am I right?

    • Richard Fogel

      His mother took him to the rally. Look up the profession of his mother. It is a shocker. Please research her profession. His father is apparently an architect and democrat says internet. Hos mom a Republican. I was amazed to see her profession. Ibdi not want to post it I want to be certain the internet is correct

  20. PEGEEN Gaherin

    I am so glad I do not live in Westport anymore.OY YEy
    The newcomers bear no resemblance to what was Westport

  21. Jeez I remember his grandfather Barry Blau from the old days… a direct marketing legend that I worked with a few times. What a sad and bizarre story.

  22. The sad part is after you drink the koolaid there are consequences. In Jones Town people died. Post January 6 people are going to prison.

    I feel sorry for Ben and his family. DJT hooked them(the election was stolen), reeled them in(they went to DC for the rally) and now they are out of the frying pan and into the fire (they rioted fighting with police officers in the seat of government to negate the counting of all our votes)!

    I can’t understand how so many of our citizens cannot listen to what DJT has said and is still saying with his own voice and with his own actions. Stuff that is totally unacceptable- from grabbing women by their private parts to just kissing them (“cause if your famous they let you do it”) to “I am the only one who can fix this” to “This election was stolen and you have to fight like hell”!

    How many courts in red states have to decide the election was not stolen in their state for DJT to believe that, acknowledge that and for our fellow citizens to know the election was not stolen- that DJT just lost an election!!

    Sadly Ben bought the koolaid and drank it.

    I just hope Ben at least regrets his actions (not just that he was caught) and that he is no longer buying into DJT’s lies that the only reason DJT could be defeated was because the election was stolen.

    • Richard Fogel

      I understand your post. The issue is that trump feeds emotional needs to such people. Facts. Truth are not important to them. What’s important to them ? The fantasy that white people must rule. That white people are superior. That immigrants are evil and criminal. I don’t only blame trump. I blame all my 06880 neighbors that know it’s false. They are only interested in special interests and monetizing the connected privileged. They deny science. They know it’s false. We are in deep trouble. I do not feel optimistic at all. I wish we had better politicians to energetically articulate a vision I also do not hear a peep from
      Tooker. I have no respect for the Republican Party

    • John D McCarthy

      Grant, you wrote “the ballot harvesting election was a farce, whether or not it was conducted in compliance with the law.” Can you please elaborate on why you think it was a farce. And please let us know what standard other than The Law you think the election should have been conducted under.

  23. Just wow! Some of these comments are horrible! Treason ? Execution? I’m sad for the young man who made a bad decision, but I’m appalled that our community has such harsh and awful comments, and thinks doxxing and public shaming is ok . I thought the party of peace ,tolerance and acceptance could do better. None of this is ok. We all at some point in our lives have made mistakes. Do better westporters.

    • Richard Fogel

      To claim this is a mistake is typical Republican rhetoric. To try to overthrow the USA government is criminal activity. To hit and assault police officers is not a mistake. It’s outrageous criminal anti social behavior. Stop the minimizing of the worst behavior we have witnessed. Reality. Facts. Truth ethics. Science. That’s my religion.

    • Doxxing? It’s a filed Federal complaint with his name and town. FAFO.

  24. Michael Calise

    The right and ability to properly defend yourself in an unbiased non-political legal system is an absolute guarantee regardless of political affiliation or beliefs. innocent until proven guilty is a critical mainstay of our republic. Under that premise, most of these remarks belong in the dustbin!

    • Richard fogel

      No one is preventing this man from a fair defense. He is on camera violating the law. There are some circumstances that are not as clarifying as this case. T by is is the story of a man violating the law on camera. Hundreds already have been successfully prosecuted Stop minimizing the worst behavior against our country. Yes he has the presumption of innocence. However the disturbing evidence provided tobthe public as of today is very disturbing. Republicans are always minimizing such behavior. Not to mention that the multi indicted twice impeached sexual abuser has mentioned among with other republicans that he would consider pardoning the worst of the USA citizens When I read some of our 06890 it’s why I feel our country is facing a pessimistic future. Maybe Dan could ask his mother and father to do a pod cast. Or Perhaos his lawyer. I imagine his defense will be trump cakjed him out to do his duty and assault the police and trespass. I wonder how many of our local police officers support trump. ? Maybe Fori and Tooker and shed some light. I often wonder why Tooker never answers my question if she voted for trump. ? Died Tooker still support Trump. Her judgement reflects on 06880 everyday life.

      • Michael Calise

        So, Mr. Fogel. You are Judge and Jury. Exactly my point!

        • We all want the kid to have a trial. A lot of us also have solid common sense and can see the evidence upon which the arrest was based.

          To date more than 1,000 of the rioters have been arrested and more than 500 (to date) have been tried (or took plea deals) and given prison sentences.

          Are you as offended by the rioters who were acting as Judge and Jury, trying to prevent the peaceful transition of power after a free and fair election?

          • Michael Calise

            I am not defending any individual or any acts, I am simply defending our system of laws and rights of due process and you Mr. Grimm have fallen into the same trap as Mr. Fogel

  25. Wow…some very harsh opinions here….Yes, those found guilty in participating in the insurrection of our Capital should pay the price if found guilty under due process…speaking of paying the price, Bill DeBlasio agreed to payback the city of New York the sum of $475,000 for his “misuse” of power in ordering NYC Police Officers to drive his son Dante back and forth to Yale, as well as other members of his family around the city.
    Both R and D politicians crap everywhere….some more, and bigger than others…Both Trump and DeBlasio should be in jail…along with many other politicians who break laws that would put most of us in jail.
    We have some serious cleansing that needs to be done to get back to the middle where our Democracy is meant to live, and the only place it can survive.

    • Whataboutism!

      Are you equating Bill DeBlasio’s actions with sedition? Seems like a stretch to me.

  26. Several comments critical of Ben Cohen’s arrest, and my reporting of it, along with praise for Donald Trump have been removed. I deleted them not for their content, but because they were posted using fake names.

    A reminder: ALL comments are welcome, provided they are germane to the topic. And all commenters must use full, real names. If someone is commenting for the first time, I may request proof of that name. Thank you for playing by the rules.

  27. Jack Backiel

    MCGA, Make Comments Great Again

    • Eric Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      Mr Backiel has granted me poetic license:

      Slip out the back, Jack.
      Make a new plan, Joe
      No need to be coy, Merrick
      Just listen to Comey
      Hop on the bus Hunter
      No need to discuss much
      Just drop off the key Hillary
      And set Westport free

      • Jack Backiel

        WHOA, JWB, You have talent! That poem is to a song from the 1970s but I can’t think of the name of it or the artist! You get an A+.

      • Stephanie Frankel

        Has anyone with a “ Hate has no Home Here“ sign been arrested in conmection to Jan 6th?
        Is Hunter Trump?
        Is DeBlasio Trump?’
        Our education system has failed if anyone is making a false equivalency between Trump and anyome else and does not understsnd the law and Constitution.
        Imagine making a comparison like these on the SAT’s!
        Law and Order.

  28. Jack Backiel

    Oops.. I mean EB, Class of 1970 (You were probably the Valedictorian.)

  29. He was probably brainwashed by social media into thinking he was part of a patriotic movement because the election was stolen, or so he thought. That is why he pushed back against officers.

    We saw a fair amount of push back against police at federal locations across the country, rioters and protesters.

    The tribalism unleased in America recently is disgusting.

    Maybe he was part of a conspiracy to over throw the government.

    Has any one here seen that movie with Peter Otool, Coup D ta? He storms the government buildings in that one. Our local boy doesnt have the Otool flare, im guessing .. maybe he does…

  30. June Richardson

    There is no expiration date on accountability. His mother apparently drove him to the rally where he obviously committed a crime. Then he hid out for two plus years back home in Westport. Now it’s time to pay a price for committing the crime. Thanks to law enforcement who followed him to Westport to arrest him. Hopefully he will break fewer laws in the future. End of fact check.

    • Jack Backiel

      In July 2022, the FBI got a tip about saying it might be Cohen. The FBI compared the numerous photos it had of the man to Cohen’s Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles license photo. In December, a former co-worker of Cohen’s was interviewed and told investigators that four photos he was shown from the Capitol riot were indeed Cohen.

  31. Peter O. Graham

    For those interested in the preservation of the republic, maybe you should be less interested in the trespassing violations of a teenage boy from Westport and his mom and more focused on the selling of US foreign policy by a sitting vice president. What’s your defense, the check wasn’t made directly to Sleepy? The memo line didn’t say “bribery of elected official?”

    • To put Peter’s comment into perspective, the 21 year old from Westport was only one of thousands who stormed the Capital.

    • Peter, For two years, Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress, the Justice Department and the Presidency. That would have been the perfect time to prove what you just alluded to.

    • If you believe that, do you also believe that Sandy Hook was a false flag?

    • I’m sure the 2 billion given by the Saudis to Jared Kushner was totally legit, no selling of anything there. And then funds to Mnuchin, and who knows what to Trump. Grasping at straws, Peter.

  32. Jack Backiel

    I just saw on MSNBC that Jared got 2 billion from the Saudis. The difference between Jared and Hunter is that Jared worked in the White House. Christie is blasting Jared about this 2 billion!

  33. This thread has run its course. It is closed to further comments.