A Conway man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington D.C. in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Peter Stager, 41, was indicted on seven charges after authorities said he used a “deadly or dangerous weapon to forcibly assault, resist, impose, impede, intimidate and interfere with an officer,” the indictment, which was unsealed on Wednesday, reads in part.
Authorities said Stager used a flagpole to beat a Metropolitan Police Department officer, who is identified only as B.M. in court documents.
“While standing in the archway to prevent the group of individuals from breaching the U.S. Capitol building, and while wearing his official MPD uniform, some of these individuals grabbed B.M. and dragged him down the stairs of the Capitol building. These individuals forced B.M. into a prone position on the stairs and proceeded to forcibly and repeatedly strike B.M. in the head and body with various objects,” FBI Special Agent Jason T. Coe wrote in the report.
FBI agents said they received tips identifying Stager from videos posted to Twitter.
“The first video … depicted Stager amongst a large group of individuals on the stairs of the U.S. Capitol building. Stager climbed the stairs while holding a flagpole with a United States flag affixed to it and used the pole to repeatedly strike B.M. while B.M. remained prone on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building,” Coe wrote.
In a second video, Coe wrote, Stager says: “Everybody in there is a treasonous traitor. Death is the only remedy for what’s in that building.” Coe said he believes “that building” was a reference to the U.S. Capitol building, and “everybody in there” was a reference to the members of Congress inside the U.S. Capitol building at the time.
The confidential sources were referred to as CS1 and CS2 in the report.
“CS1 told Agents that following viewing the videos … CS1 contacted a mutual acquaintance of both Stager and himself (“CS2”). CS2 told CS1 that CS2 had already spoken directly with Stager following the events on January 6, 2021. CS2 also told CS1 that Stager identified himself as the individual in both video 1 and video 2,” Coe reported. “Agents then interviewed CS2, a close associate of Stager. CS2 also recognized Stager as the individual in video 1 striking B.M. with a flagpole, and as the individual in video 2 who was ‘ranting.’ CS2 spoke directly with Stager via telephone following the events on January 6, 2021. During that phone conversation, Stager confirmed that he [Stager] was the individual in both video 1 and video 2. Referring to video 1, Stager told CS2 that he [Stager] did not know the man he was striking on the ground with the flagpole was a cop and that he thought the person he was striking was ANTIFA. On the Twitter thread provided by CS1, there was a photo … of B.M. lying prone on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building while surrounded by the large group of individuals. Clearly present on B.M.’s uniform, across his back, are the words ‘METROPOLITAN POLICE.’”
Coe wrote that in the video “Stager, holding a flagpole, with an American flag attached, with what appears to be a clear view of B.M. in uniform, lying on the stairs,” led him to believe “that Stager was able to clearly see the police markings on B.M.’s uniform and was aware that the individual who he was striking was, in fact, law enforcement.”
Stager was arrested in Conway on Jan. 14. He was initially held at the Pulaski County Detention Center. On Jan. 22, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Thomas Ray in Little Rock ordered Stager to be transported and held in custody in the District of Columbia “until all charges in this matter are resolved.”
Stager has been charged with obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding/abetting; assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon; civil disorder; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; and violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.
If convicted, Stager faces a maximum penalty of 40 years.