03 July 2023

Man accused of striking officer during US Capitol attack arrested in Florida

03 July 2023

A Michigan man accused of attacking a police officer with a flagpole during the insurrection at the US Capitol has been arrested in Florida, officials said.

Jeremy Rodgers, 28, faces several felony and misdemeanour charges, including assaulting a federal officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon, according to court records.

He was arrested Friday in Orlando and made his initial court appearance there. The case will be prosecuted in District of Columbia federal court.

According to court documents, Rodgers joined with others in objecting to Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory over then-President Donald Trump. A mob stormed the Capitol to try to stop Congress from certifying election results for Biden over Trump, a Republican, authorities have said. Five people died in the violence.

According to the criminal complaint, surveillance video shows Rodgers carrying a blue flag attached to a wooden flagpole as he approaches a line of law enforcement officers guarding the entrance to the East Rotunda Door.

Investigators said Rodgers used his flagpole to strike a US Capitol police officer three times on the helmet and then swung the flagpole twice more in the direction of officers.

Rodgers also used the flagpole to prevent officers from closing the door so that he could enter the building, prosecutors said. Once inside, Rodgers removed railings so the others in the crowd could enter the building, officials said.

Rodgers was part of a crowd that pushed through a police line outside the entrance to the House Chamber, investigators said. After another scuffle with police, Rodgers paraded through the Rotunda waving his flag before finally leaving, officials said.

Online court records did not list an attorney for Rodgers who might speak on his behalf.

More than 1,000 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for alleged crimes related to the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021, according to officials.

More than 350 people have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

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