WASHINGTON — A North Carolina man has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges, including assaulting several law enforcement officers, 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.
Lee Stutts, 46, of Terrell, North Carolina, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony offenses of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon and obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder. In addition to the felonies, Stutts is charged with misdemeanor offenses of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds.
Stutts, a former United States Marine, was arrested today in North Carolina. He is expected to make his initial appearance tomorrow in the Western District of North Carolina.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Stutts, wearing a black helmet, was among a mob illegally massed on the West Plaza of the Capitol grounds. At approximately 1:00 p.m., Stutts approached a line of U.S. Capitol Police officers who had formed a protective barrier on the Plaza in an effort to prevent the rioters from entering the Capitol building. Between approximately 1:10 p.m. and 1:40 p.m., Stutts is accused of physically assaulting at least seven different U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department officers. He is also accused of throwing an item towards a line of officers, pushing a metal bike rack fencing into officers, and joining with other rioters in using an enormous sign as a battering ram against police.
At approximately 2:28 p.m., Stutts was one of the rioters who led the way in the final breaking of the police line on the West Plaza. After the Plaza was overrun, Stutts could be observed raising his arms and pumping his fists in a celebratory manner as police officers retreated from the oncoming swarm of rioters.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Stutts as #57 on its seeking information photos. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department.
In the 34 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,200 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.