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Conway man wanted for beating officer in D.C. riot surrenders to authorities

by Bill Bowden, William Sanders | January 14, 2021 at 8:09 p.m.
The dome of the U.S. Capitol is visible Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, through an American flag placed on fencing surrounding the Capitol Building in Washington.

CONWAY — A Conway man caught on video using a flagpole to beat a police officer during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot was arrested by federal authorities Thursday night at a Conway attorney's office, according to an FBI spokesman.

Peter Francis Stager, 41, is facing one count of obstructing a police officer from his duties during a civil disorder, according to a federal complaint issued earlier Thursday. Stager is charged in connection with an attack on a officer from the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.at charged Thursday in federal court in the District of Columbia, according to court documents.

Federal and local law enforcement officers arrived at Stager's home at 1550 Hathaway Drive, Conway, about 6:30 p.m. Thursday. They learned he was not at the residence, but found him at the undisclosed attorney's office. Stager surrendered there, the spokesman said.

Authorities remained at the Hathaway Drive location an hour later, where the spokesman said they were conducting a sweep of the area and collecting evidence.

— William Sanders

3:52 p.m.: Arkansan charged with civil disorder in Capitol riot; FBI says he used American flag to beat police officer

An Arkansas man who the FBI says was caught on video using an American flag to beat a police officer during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot was charged Thursday in federal court in the District of Columbia.

Peter Francis Stager faces one count of obstructing a police officer from his duties during a civil disorder, according to the complaint.

The Wall Street Journal identified him as an Arkansas resident. According to Arkansas voter registration, Stager is 41 years old and lives in Conway.

Prosecutors have been filing complaints as soon as possible so people can be arrested. Then those initial complaints are often amended to include additional charges.

Stager is charged in connection with an attack on a officer from the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department.

The officer, identified only as B.M. in the statement of facts, was posted in an archway outside the Capitol building.

"From this archway, alongside other uniformed law enforcement officers, B.M. observed hundreds of individuals gathered outside," wrote FBI Special Agent Jason T. Coe in the statement of facts.

"Some of these individuals were throwing and swinging various objects at the group of law enforcement officers," Coe wrote. "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."

Based on tips and a review of two videos on a Twitter thread, the FBI determined that Stager was beating B.M. with a flagpole that had the United States flag affixed to the other end, wrote Coe.

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

— Bill Bowden

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