Jan. 6 Rioter Who Beat Officer With Flagpole Gets Four-Year Sentence

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A truck driver who assaulted a police officer with a flagpole on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced on Monday to 52 months in federal jail.

The assault by the driving force, Peter Stager, produced probably the most disturbing photos to emerge from the Capitol assault. Mr. Stager, 44, of Conway, Ark., was captured on video beating the officer, Blake Miller, with the flagpole in a match of rage as Officer Miller lay facedown in a mob of different rioters with “no technique of defending himself,” prosecutors wrote in courtroom papers.

Mr. Stager was one in all 9 males charged with assaulting Officer Miller and two of his colleagues, Officers Carter Moore and Andrew Wayte, in a 90-second spree of violence that unfolded on the steps outdoors a tunnel on the Decrease West Terrace of the Capitol. Officers who fell sufferer to assaults in a tunnel on the terrace and on the steps there have repeatedly likened the violence to the hand-to-hand fight of a medieval battle.

After assaulting Officer Miller, prosecutors say, Mr. Stager was caught on video pointing on the Capitol, and declaring: “All people in there’s a shame. That total constructing is stuffed with treasonous traitors. Loss of life is the one treatment for what’s in that constructing.”

He went on to say: “Each single a kind of Capitol legislation enforcement officers, loss of life is the treatment. That’s the solely treatment they get.”

In courtroom papers filed earlier than the sentencing in Federal District Court docket in Washington, Mr. Stager’s legal professionals instructed Choose Rudolph Contreras that their shopper had, like many Jan. 6 defendants, skilled a traumatic childhood. Throughout his early years, the legal professionals wrote, Mr. Stager was homeless, sleeping underneath benches in California and stealing meals from shops and dumpsters.

After Mr. Stager’s mom deserted him and his siblings, when he was across the age of 6, he ended up in foster care, the legal professionals mentioned.

The legal professionals instructed Choose Contreras that Mr. Stager was in Washington on Jan. 6 solely due to a scheduling battle with the dispatch service of his trucking firm. After delivering a load of produce to a vacation spot close to Washington, the legal professionals wrote, he selected to not drive again to Arkansas with an empty truck, realizing he wouldn’t make any cash and must pay for gasoline.

As a substitute, the legal professionals mentioned, Mr. Stager “determined to take advantage of the state of affairs” and attend President Donald J. Trump’s rally on the Ellipse in Washington on the morning of Jan. 6.

“This determination is one which Mr. Stager will remorse for the remainder of his life,” the legal professionals wrote.

As the group moved from Mr. Trump’s speech close to the White Home to the Capitol and grew more and more violent, “Mr. Stager’s emotional state was in turmoil,” his legal professionals wrote. In the end, “seeing purple,” they mentioned, he picked up a flagpole mendacity on the bottom and went after Officer Miller.

Mr. Stager apologized to the officer in a letter submitted along with his lawyer’s submitting, saying that he didn’t “have hatred towards legislation enforcement, not to mention for anybody.”

Three of Mr. Stager’s co-defendants — Justin Jersey, Logan Barnhart and Mason Courson — have additionally been sentenced on assault costs. Every of them was given a jail time period of between three and 5 years, a comparatively modest penalty for instances involving assaults on the police.

Different rioters sentenced for assaulting officers have acquired among the stiffest penalties of any of the greater than 1,000 folks charged in reference to the Capitol assault.

A Pennsylvania welder who attacked officers with a chair after which with chemical spray was sentenced in Could to greater than 14 years in jail. The following month, a California man was given greater than 12 years in jail for twice driving a Taser into the neck of Officer Michael Fanone.

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