A Capitol rioter identified by the massive tattoo on his stomach sentenced to 78 months in prison

  • A man accused of assaulting a police officer in the 2021 Capitol riot has been sent to prison.
  • Viewers identified James McGrew, 40, after noticing his giant stomach tattoo in riot footage. 
  • He was sentenced to 78 months in prison for assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers. 

A judge has sentenced a Mississippi man to more than six years in prison for assaulting police officers during the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

James McGrew, 40, of Biloxi, Mississippi, was among the rioters to reach the Capitol Rotunda on January 6, according to the criminal complaint the FBI filed.

Police arrested him in May 2021 after identifying him in footage from inside the Capitol when he lifted his shirt to wipe his eyes. The footage revealed a giant tattoo on his stomach that said “KING JAMES.” The footage was from a District of Columbia police body camera.

The tattoo corresponded to a 2012 booking record, according to court documents, and led to his eventual arrest. 


McGrew’s “King James” tattoo.

Department of Justice

On Friday, a judge sentenced him to 78 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to assaulting, resisting, or impeding police officers, according to the Department of Justice

In the video used to prosecute McGrew, he is seen aggressively approaching law-enforcement officers, the FBI criminal complaint said, while yelling statements like, “we’re coming in here, whether you like it or not” and “fight with us, not against us.”

During the riots, McGrew pushed and struck police officers and launched a wooden handrail with metal brackets toward officers, according to court documents. 

On top of the prison term, US District of Columbia Court Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell ordered 36 months of supervised release for McGrew, a $5,000 fine, and $2,000 in restitution.

Since January 6, 2021, authorities have charged 284 individuals with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, according to the Department of Justice. 

McGrew’s identification as a participant in the Capitol insurrection from his tattoo is among the most bizarre.  

In another case, two accused rioters told dating matches that they were involved in storming the Capitol, leading to their eventual arrests. Another rioter’s ex-girlfriend had her revenge by handing him into the police, Insider’s Erin Snodgrass reported