FBI arrests Arkansas man accused of beating officer with American flagpole at Capitol riot

Nation/world

A man suspected of beating a police officer with an American flagpole at the U.S. Capitol during last week’s riot has been arrested in Arkansas, according to KTLA sister station KLRT in Little Rock.

A criminal arrest warrant filed in Washington D.C. charges Peter Francis Stager in connection with the riot, the station reported, citing court documents.

FBI arrived at a home in Conway Thursday evening thought to be connected to Stager, calling to the house from a bullhorn that they have a warrant for the occupant’s arrest.

Shortly after 7 p.m., FBI Special Agent William Kennedy said that Stager gave himself up to federal and local law enforcement.

A warrant for his arrest was issued sometime mid-afternoon, according to Kennedy.

Stager is the person seen in videos posted to social media holding an American flag and using the flagpole as a weapon to strike a member of Washington’s Metro Police Department who was working to secure the building, authorities said.

They allege a second video shows Stager saying, “Everybody in there is a treasonous traitor. Death is the only remedy for what’s in that building,” referring to the lawmakers in the U.S. Capitol.

A witness told the investigators that Stager said he did not realize the person he was hitting with the flagpole was a police officers, believing instead that the person was “Antifa.”

Authorities, however, said that photos of the events clearly show markings identifying the victim as an officer with the Metro Police Department.

The witness said Stager claimed that he wanted to apologize for his behavior and planned to turn himself into authorities, and only made the comments he did on camera because he had been hit with pepper spray.

Authorities used Arkansas state records to identify Stager. He could potentially face charges of obstructing a federal officer, civil disorder and other crimes, according to officials.

In addition to Stager, a second Arkansas resident, Richard Barnett, is also in federal custody in connection with the riot.

Barnett made headlines after breaking into the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, sitting at a desk in the office and taking mail from the desk.

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