Missouri man pleads guilty to assaulting an officer, other offenses in Jan. 6 case

A southwest Missouri man charged with two felonies in connection with the Capitol riot — including assaulting an officer — and several misdemeanors pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to all counts.

Kyler Joseph Bard, of Seneca, entered the plea in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge Amit P. Mehta set his sentencing for Nov. 1.

Bard, 28, is the 31st of the 37 Missouri residents charged in Capitol riot cases to plead guilty or be found guilty at trial. Of those, 25 have been sentenced. Six other Missouri defendants have been convicted and await sentencing, and the cases of another six are pending.

Bard was arrested in Joplin in January 2023. He was charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers and obstructing officers during a civil disorder, both felonies. He also faced four misdemeanor counts: 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 violence at the Capitol building or grounds.

According to the statement of offense signed by Bard, he attended the “Stop the Steal” rally with others near the Washington Monument the morning of Jan. 6, 2021. After the rally, it said, Bard went to his hotel for lunch, then made his way to the Capitol.

At about 3:28 p.m., the statement said, Bard was standing on a ledge on the Upper West Terrace of the Capitol, where officers had formed a police line as a barrier. Two minutes later, Bard walked on top of the ledge carrying a megaphone, it said. Shortly after that, another person near Bard charged the police line and pushed into the officers.

In response, the statement said, Bard yelled into the megaphone, “Move! Move! Move! We gotta push! We gotta push! Let’s go! We gotta go! Let’s go!”

Bard then turned directly toward the police line, the document said.

“And as he yelled, ‘Let’s push,’ he took several steps raising his left arm and leaned forward shoving into the Officer,” it said. “As the defendant made physical contact with Officer M.G., Officer M.G. raised his baton. At the time the defendant forcibly pushed into the police line, Officer M.G. was wearing full uniform including a riot helmet and standing with a group of similarly dressed officers.”

While Bard was in the restricted area, his statement said, he was exposed to chemical irritants and had to clear his eyes with water.

For about four seconds, the statement said, Bard confronted Officer M.G. “by physically moving into the Officer.”

“Bard then lost balance and fell backwards to the ground,” it said. “While on the ground, Bard was pepper sprayed. As the defendant fell backwards, he yelled to the officers, ‘You’re all a bunch of pieces of s—,’ and then he got up and ran away.”

According to the charging document, a review of a video posted on Twitter showed a man who appeared to be Bard talking on a cellphone outside the Capitol.

“Bard can be heard stating, ‘I’ve already been maced, punched, they took my microphone away, and, uh, when I punched them, they punched me back. Maced me in the face. But it’s what we gotta do. We gotta get inside, we gotta take it over. We gotta do it.’”

These photos were posted on Kyler Bard’s Instagram account, federal authorities say.These photos were posted on Kyler Bard’s Instagram account, federal authorities say.

These photos were posted on Kyler Bard’s Instagram account, federal authorities say.

After the Capitol attack, images of Bard participating in the riot appeared online, the charging document said. The FBI created a profile of Bard based on the images, giving him the moniker “AFO-447,” according to the document. AFO stands for “assault on federal officer.”

The FBI posted those images on its website and on social media, asking for the public’s help in identifying the man, the document said. A confidential source came forward, providing material from the Instagram account of a “kyler_bard” that appeared to show Bard on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, it said.

The user of that account had posted a photo of someone appearing to pour water in Bard’s eyes and referenced how he had been “maced and punched for yelling in a megaphone,” the document said.

The FBI contacted Bard at his home, it said, and the agent who interviewed him confirmed that he was the same person as the man in the photos.

“During the interview,” the document said, “Bard admitted to attending the Stop The Steal rally in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, but informed agents that he did not enter the Capitol and did nothing illegal.”

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