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Indictment: Arkansas man assaulted DC officer with flagpole

February 18, 2021 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas man who authorities say used an American flag to beat a police officer during the attack on the U.S. Capitol has been indicted on assault and other federal charges.

According to the indictment unsealed Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Peter Francis Stager, 41, used a “deadly or dangerous weapon,” a flagpole, to “forcibly assault, resist, impose, impede, intimidate and interfere with an officer.” A video of the Jan. 6 melee appears to show Stager attacking a Washington police officer with the flagpole.

Stager was initially arrested Jan. 14 in Conway on one count of obstructing a police officer from his duties during a civil disorder, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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If convicted Stager faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for “obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting” and another 20 years for “assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon.’

The grand jury also indicted two other men accused of assaulting police officers during the Capitol riot.

On Jan. 22, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Thomas Ray in Little Rock ordered for Stager to return to the District of Columbia and remain in custody “until all charges in this matter are resolved.”

Efforts to reach Frank Shaw, an attorney who represented Stager at the Jan. 22 hearing, were unsuccessful Wednesday.