WASHINGTON - An Arkansas man was sentenced today on a felony charge for his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.
Peter Francis Stager, 44, of Conway, Arkansas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras to 52 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a deadly or dangerous weapon on Feb. 16, 2023. In addition to the prison term, Judge Contreras ordered 36 months of supervised release and restitution of $2,000.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Stager was part of a large, armed mob that attacked police officers at the Lower West Terrace entrance of the U.S. Capitol building. At 4:27 p.m., police officers had been defending the archway opening to a corridor leading from the Lower West Terrace to the interior of the Capitol building for nearly two hours, advancing and retreating as rioters fought their way into the entrance. At this time, Stager was positioned toward the bottom of a set of steps that led to the archway, carrying a flagpole with an American flag affixed.
Stager watched as co-defendants attacked the police line and dragged a police officer, facedown and headfirst, out of the line and into the crowd of rioters. Once the others had dragged the officer into the crowd, Stager raised the flagpole that he was carrying and beat the downed police officer, striking him at least three times.
After assaulting the police officer, Stager ascended the steps toward the archway where a second officer was lying on the ground, fending off attacks from other rioters. Stager stood over the officer and yelled, “Fuck you! Fucking traitor!” 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.” Stager went on to say that “Everybody in there is a treasonous traitor. Every single one of those Capitol law enforcement officers, death is the remedy, that is the only remedy they get.”
Stager was arrested on Jan. 14, 2021.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Counterterrorism Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Little Rock Field Office and Washington Field Office, which listed Stager as #80 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police.
In the 30 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,069 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 350 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.