Mississippi News

Father and son arrested for actions during Jan. 6 Capitol breach

Defendants wore gas masks and one stole a police riot shield

Credit: Federal Bureau of Investigation release

A Mississippi man and his son have been arrested on felony charges for their actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Their 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 2020 presidential election.

Toney Sheldon Bray, 46, and Ethan Bray, 25, both of Blue Springs, Mississippi, were arrested on June 8 and charged with obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder, a felony, knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. Toney Bray is also charged with theft of government property. The defendants made an initial appearance in the Northern District of Mississippi.

According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, the defendants were part of the initial breach of police barricades, at approximately 12:53 p.m. at Peace Circle, located at Pennsylvania Avenue NW and First Street NW.

Specifically, Ethan and Tony Bray pushed and climbed over the police barriers. As the Brays and other rioters approached the first set of barricades, “AREA CLOSED” signs were affixed to the barriers. The Brays were among the first to confront law enforcement on the staircase under scaffolding leading from the West Plaza to the Lower West Terrace.

They entered the U.S. Capitol Building at approximately 2:22 p.m. through the Senate Wing Door and moved toward the Crypt as captured on Capitol CCTV footage. At the time they entered the Capitol, the Brays were wearing gas masks.

The Brays were captured on CCTV in the Crypt at approximately 2:24 p.m. After exiting the Crypt, the Brays moved together to the Rotunda, where they were again captured in an open-source photo and Capitol CCTV at approximately 2:36 p.m. After moving between the hallway and the Rotunda for some time, the Brays ultimately exited through the Rotunda doors leading to the East Front of the Capitol at approximately 2:54 p.m.

In total, the Brays were inside the Capitol from approximately 2:22 p.m. until 2:54 p.m., for a total of 32 minutes. After leaving the Rotunda, open-source and Capitol CCTV footage captured Toney Bray carrying a U.S. Capitol Police riot shield. The elder Bray still had the shield after exiting the Capitol building

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 Northern District of Mississippi.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Jackson and Washington Field Offices. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.

In the 29 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,000 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including nearly 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing. 

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Click here for redacted Statement of Facts

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob is also heard on 95.3 The Rebel twice a week with sports updates and high school football play-by-play broadcasts in the fall. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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