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An Arkansas man who allegedly used a flagpole to beat a police officer during last week’s riots at the US Capitol has been charged by federal authorities, officials said.
Peter Francis Stager, 41, faces one count of obstructing a police officer from his duties during a civil disorder, according to a federal complaint filed Thursday in Washington, DC.
He was captured on video and photographs striking the prone DC Metropolitan Police officer after rioters dragged the cop down the Capitol’s west stairs, officials said.
Confidential informants had recognized the suspect and alerted authorities, officials said.
Federal and local law enforcement officers who arrived at Stager’s home in Conway, Arkansas, Thursday evening learned he was not at the residence, but found him at his attorney’s office, where he surrendered, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
Stager was being held at the Pulaski County Detention Center and will have his first court appearance Friday.
The injured officer — identified as B.M. in the statement of facts – had been posted in an archway outside the Capitol, according to the statement of facts.
“From this archway, alongside other uniformed law enforcement officers, B.M. observed hundreds of individuals gathered outside,” FBI Special Agent Jason Coe wrote in the statement.
“Some of these individuals were throwing and swinging various objects at the group of law enforcement officers,” he wrote. “While standing in the archway to prevent the group of individuals from breaching the U.S. Capitol building, and while wearing his official MPD uniform, some of these individuals grabbed B.M. and dragged him down the stairs of the Capitol building.
“These individuals forced B.M. into a prone position on the stairs and proceeded to forcibly and repeatedly strike B.M. in the head and body with various objects,” Coe added.
Stager is the second Arkansas resident to be arrested and charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack of the Capitol by President Trump supporters that left five people dead, including a police officer.
A detention hearing is scheduled for Friday in federal court in Little Rock for Richard Barnett, 60, of Gravette, Arkansas, who was arrested on charges that included unlawful entry to a restricted area with a lethal weapon — in this case, a stun gun.
The feds Barnett as a rioter photographed sitting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office chair during the insurrection. He surrendered on Jan. 8.
With Post wires
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