Jul 24, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Man who used American flagpole to beat officer during Capitol riot sentenced

Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

An Arkansas man was sentenced Monday for charges related to beating a downed police officer with a flagpole during the Capitol riot.

Driving the news: Peter Francis Stager, 44, of Conway, Arkansas, was sentenced to more than four years in prison after pleading guilty earlier this year to assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a deadly or dangerous weapon, per the Department of Justice.

  • Stager was also ordered to serve 36 months of supervised release and restitution of $2,000.
A circled image of a man whom prosecutors identified as Peter Francis Stager on the stairs of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: DOJ/U.S. District Court for D.C.

Details: On Jan. 6, 2021, Stager watched as fellow rioters attacked and dragged police, according to the DOJ.

  • Once others had dragged an officer into the crowd, Stager raised a flagpole with an American flag affixed and beat the downed officer, striking him at least three times, per the DOJ.
  • Stager also stood over another officer who was on the ground and yelled, "F**k you! F**king traitor!" per court documents.
  • Later in the day, Stager was filmed pointing at the Capitol building and stating, "Everybody in there is a disgrace. That entire building is filled with treasonous traitors. Death is the only remedy for what’s in that building," according to the DOJ.
  • He continued: "Every single one of those Capitol law enforcement officers, death is the remedy, that is the only remedy they get."

Zoom out: Since the riot, more than 1,069 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the Capitol, per the DOJ.

Go deeper: The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters

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