September 27, 2023

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

The assault by the motive force, Peter Stager, produced one of the vital disturbing pictures for the reason that assault on the Capitol. Steiger, 44, of Conway, Arkansas, was filmed beating Officer Blake Miller with a flagpole in a match of rage as Officer Miller lay face down in a crowd of different rioters, “having no technique of defending himself,” prosecutors wrote in court docket paperwork.

Mr. Steiger was certainly one of 9 folks charged with assaulting Officer Miller and two of his colleagues, Officers Carter Moore and Andrew Waite, in a 90-second sequence of violence that unfolded on the steps close to the tunnel on the Capitol’s Decrease West Terrace. The officers who fell sufferer to assaults within the tunnel on the terrace and on the steps repeatedly in contrast the violence to the hand-to-hand fight of a medieval battle.

After the assault on Officer Miller, Mr. Stager was filmed pointing on the Capitol and stating, “All the things there’s a disgrace, prosecutors mentioned. This entire constructing is full of traitorous traitors. Dying is the one treatment for what’s on this constructing.

He went on to say, “To every of those Capitol legislation enforcement officers, demise is the treatment. It is the one treatment they get.”

In court docket paperwork filed earlier than the decision within the Federal District Court docket in Washington, Mr. Stager’s attorneys instructed Choose Rudolph Contreras that their consumer, like most of the Jan. 6 defendants, had a traumatic childhood. Legal professionals wrote that within the early years of his life, Mr. Stager was homeless, sleeping underneath benches in California and stealing meals from outlets and trash cans.

After Mr. Stager’s mom left him and his siblings when he was about 6 years outdated, his attorneys say he was positioned in a foster house.

Legal professionals instructed Choose Contreras that Mr. Stager was in Washington on Jan. 6 solely due to a scheduling battle along with his trucking firm’s dispatch division. Because the attorneys wrote, after delivering a batch of groceries to a vacation spot close to Washington, he determined to not return to Arkansas with an empty truck, realizing that he wouldn’t earn cash and he must pay for gasoline.

As an alternative, attorneys say, Mr. Stager “determined to benefit from the scenario” and attend President Donald J. Trump’s rally on the Ellipse in Washington on the morning of January 6.

“This resolution is a call that Mr. Stager will remorse for the remainder of his life,” the attorneys wrote.

As the gang moved from Trump’s White Home speech to the Capitol and have become extra aggressive, “Mr. Stager’s emotional state was in turmoil,” his attorneys wrote. Lastly, “seeing purple,” as they mentioned, he picked up the flagpole that was on the bottom and adopted Officer Miller.

Mr. Steiger apologized to the officer in a letter submitted with an announcement from his legal professional, saying he “has no hatred for legislation enforcement, not to mention anybody.”

Three of Mr. Stager’s co-defendants — Justin Jersey, Logan Barnhart and Mason Courson — had been additionally convicted on assault prices. Every was sentenced to between three and 5 years in jail, a comparatively modest sentence for instances involving assaults on police.

Different rioters convicted of assaulting officers acquired among the heaviest sentences of the greater than 1,000 folks charged in reference to the assault on the Capitol.

A Pennsylvania welder who attacked officers with a chair after which used a chemical spray was sentenced in Might to greater than 14 years in jail. The next month, a California man was sentenced to greater than 12 years in jail for stabbing officer Michael Fanon twice within the neck with a stun gun.

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