In a significant development stemming from the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, an Arkansas man, Peter Francis Stager, has pleaded guilty to the felony charge of assaulting a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Officer. Stager’s actions, which included beating the officer with a flagpole, were part of a larger armed mob that disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress to count the electoral votes related to the presidential election. This plea comes as part of ongoing investigations into the events of Jan. 6, with over 985 individuals arrested nationwide and approximately 319 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement to date.
Arkansas Man Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge For Actions During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
An Arkansas man named Peter Francis Stager has pleaded guilty to a felony charge for his actions during the January 6 Capitol breach. Stager was involved in the assault of a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer by beating the officer with a flag pole. This incident disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress, which was convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election. Stager has pleaded guilty to the charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a deadly or dangerous weapon. The sentencing hearing for Stager has been scheduled for July 24, 2023.
Plea of Guilty
Peter Francis Stager has pleaded guilty to the charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a deadly or dangerous weapon. This plea indicates that Stager acknowledges his actions during the January 6 Capitol breach and accepts responsibility for the assault on the MPD officer.
Scheduled Sentencing Hearing
A hearing has been scheduled for July 24, 2023, to determine the appropriate sentencing for Peter Francis Stager. During this hearing, the court will consider various factors, including the severity of the offense, Stager’s criminal history, and any mitigating circumstances presented by Stager or his attorney.
Description of Defendant’s Actions
According to court documents, Peter Francis Stager was part of a large, armed mob that gathered on the Lower West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021. As part of this mob, Stager was involved in pulling MPD Officer B.M. off of the police line and down a set of steps. While the officer was prone on the steps, Stager repeatedly struck Officer B.M. with a flagpole. This violent act constitutes the basis for the assault charge against Stager. In addition, Stager was recorded on January 6, 2021, pointing to the U.S. Capitol building and making disgraceful statements about the individuals inside the building. He called for death as the remedy for those he believed to be traitors and threatened the Capitol law enforcement officers.
Date and Location of Capitol Breach
The Capitol breach occurred on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Protesters and rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, leading to the disruption of a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
Joint Session of U.S. Congress
The joint session of the U.S. Congress that was disrupted by the Capitol breach was convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election. This session is a crucial step in the democratic process of confirming the results of the election.
The presidential election, which took place in November 2020, culminated in the joint session of the U.S. Congress on January 6, 2021. The breach of the Capitol was an unprecedented event that occurred during the certification of the electoral votes.
Armed Mob on Lower West Terrace
The Lower West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol building was the site of a gathering of a large, armed mob on January 6, 2021. This mob participated in acts of violence, including the assault on the MPD officer by Peter Francis Stager.
Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding Certain Officers
Peter Francis Stager has been charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers. This charge is based on his direct involvement in assaulting an MPD officer during the Capitol breach. Assaulting law enforcement officers is a serious offense that undermines the rule of law and security of public institutions.
Use of Deadly or Dangerous Weapon
The assault charge against Peter Francis Stager includes the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon. Stager repeatedly struck the MPD officer with a flagpole, causing harm and potentially endangering the officer’s life. The use of a weapon in the commission of the assault elevates the severity of the offense.
Disgraceful Nature of Individuals in U.S. Capitol Building
Peter Francis Stager made disgraceful statements about the individuals inside the U.S. Capitol building. He expressed his belief that everyone in the building was a disgrace and referred to them as treasonous traitors. These statements reflect Stager’s hostile intent and contribute to the overall context of his actions during the Capitol breach.
Call for Death as Remedy
In addition to calling individuals inside the U.S. Capitol building disgraceful, Peter Francis Stager called for death as the remedy for what he believed was happening in the building. This statement indicates a dangerous mindset and a disregard for the principles of democracy and due process.
Threats Against Capitol Law Enforcement Officers
Peter Francis Stager went further in his statements by specifically threatening the Capitol law enforcement officers. He stated that death was the only remedy these officers deserved. Such threats not only show a complete lack of respect for law enforcement but also pose a serious risk to the safety and well-being of those entrusted with protecting public institutions.
Date of Arrest
Peter Francis Stager was arrested on January 14, 2021. His arrest followed an investigation into his involvement in the assault on the MPD officer during the January 6 Capitol breach.
The agency responsible for Peter Francis Stager’s arrest has not been explicitly mentioned in the provided information. However, considering the nature of the offense and the involvement of the FBI’s Little Rock Field Office and Washington Field Office in the investigation, it can be inferred that federal law enforcement agencies played a role in the arrest.
Prosecution and Investigation
Prosecution by U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia is responsible for prosecuting Peter Francis Stager for his actions during the January 6 Capitol breach. This office is dedicated to upholding the rule of law and seeking justice in federal criminal cases within its jurisdiction.
Involvement of Counterterrorism Section of U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division
The Counterterrorism Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division is actively involved in the prosecution of Peter Francis Stager. This section focuses on investigating and prosecuting terrorism-related cases, including those involving attacks on public institutions and law enforcement officers.
Assistance from U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas has provided assistance in the prosecution of Peter Francis Stager. This collaboration between different U.S. Attorney’s Offices demonstrates the coordination and cooperation within the Department of Justice to ensure effective and thorough investigations and prosecutions.
Investigation by FBI’s Little Rock Field Office and Washington Field Office
The FBI’s Little Rock Field Office and Washington Field Office have conducted the investigation into Peter Francis Stager’s involvement in the Capitol breach. These field offices are responsible for gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and collaborating with other law enforcement agencies to build a strong case against Stager.
Metropolitan Police Department
During the investigation and prosecution of Peter Francis Stager, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has played an important role. The MPD has provided valuable assistance in gathering evidence and supporting the efforts of federal law enforcement agencies.
U.S. Capitol Police
The U.S. Capitol Police have also collaborated closely with federal law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of Peter Francis Stager. The Capitol Police’s expertise and knowledge of the Capitol building and its security protocols have been instrumental in understanding the events of the Capitol breach.
Number of Arrests
Total Number of Arrests Since Jan. 6, 2021
Since the January 6 Capitol breach, more than 985 individuals have been arrested across nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol. These arrests reflect the ongoing efforts of law enforcement to hold individuals accountable for their actions on that day.
Number of Individuals Charged with Assaulting or Impeding Law Enforcement
Out of the over 985 individuals arrested since the Capitol breach, approximately 319 individuals have been charged specifically with assaulting or impeding law enforcement officers. This highlights the significant issue of violence directed towards law enforcement during the events of January 6, 2021.
The investigation into the Capitol breach remains ongoing. Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, continue to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and identify individuals involved in the events of that day. This commitment to investigating and prosecuting those responsible demonstrates the determination to preserve the integrity of our democratic institutions.
Tips and Contact Information
Contact Information for Tips
If you have any information relevant to the investigation of the Capitol breach, you can contact the FBI through the hotline at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit tips online at tips.fbi.gov. Providing information can be crucial in assisting law enforcement in their efforts to identify and apprehend individuals involved in criminal acts.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been actively involved in the investigation of the Capitol breach since its inception. The FBI is committed to uncovering the truth, identifying those responsible, and ensuring that justice is served. Their participation in this investigation highlights the dedication and resources dedicated to addressing this significant event in our nation’s history.