An Arkansas man has been arrested and charged Thursday in connection with an attack on a police officer during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
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Peter Francis Stager has been charged with obstructing, impeding, or interfering with a law enforcement officer after hitting a uniformed Metropolitan Police officer guarding the entrance to the Capitol with a flagpole during last week’s siege, according to a criminal complaint.
FOX 11’s Marc Gustafson reported that FBI arrived at a house in Conway, Arkansas Thursday evening believed to be Stager’s residence. Authorities had called to the house using a bullhorn, noting that they had a warrant for Stager’s arrest.
FBI Special Agent William Kennedy told FOX 11 that Stager had later given himself up to federal and local law enforcement.
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The complaint states that Stager was allegedly part of a group of individuals who grabbed the officer and dragged him down a flight of stairs, before forcing him into a “prone position” and proceeding to “forcibly and repeatedly” hit him in the head and body with “various objects.”
Video footage shows Stager with a large group on the stairs of the Capitol building and holding a flagpole with a United States flag affixed to it. Meanwhile, a second video shows a male, identified as Strager, using the pole to repeatedly strike the officer while he “remained prone on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building.”
“Everybody in there is a treasonous traitor. Death is the only remedy for what’s in that building,” Stager can be heard saying in a second video, according to the complaint.
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The FBI said they learned of Stager’s identity from a confidential informant who saw the videos on social media.
A second informant said that after speaking with Stager following the Jan. 6 siege, Stager confirmed his own involvement. The informant said that Stager claimed he “did not know the man he was striking on the ground with the flagpole was a cop and that he thought the person he was striking was Antifa.”
However, the officer could be easily identified by his unfirom with the words “METROPOLITAN POLICE” across his back, prosecutors said.
Stager allegedly told the second informant he planned to turn himself in and apologized for assaulting a member of law enforcement. In addition, he insisted to the second informant that he was “‘wired up’ from being either pepper-sprayed or tear-gassed and that was why he made the comments he did on camera.”
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Kennedy told FOX 11 in a statement to the public “if you were there committing a crime expect this at your own house,” in reference to the Jan. 6 siege. Kennedy also encouraged anyone with additional information or tips for the FBI to call 1-800 FBI-TIPS, or the local field office at 501-221-9100.