April 18, 2024
April 18, 2024
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Arkansas trucker gets 4 years for beating officer with flagpole at Jan. 6 riot

An Arkansas truck driver involved in the U.S. Capitol riot received a prison sentence of over four years for assaulting a police officer with an American flag attached to a flagpole. Peter Francis Stager repeatedly struck the officer with the flagpole while other rioters dragged him into the crowd, resulting in serious injuries to the officer and over 100 other police officers during the riot on January 6, 2021.

Stager also verbally abused another officer who was severely injured by fellow rioters. After the violent acts, Stager was caught on video expressing disturbing sentiments towards Capitol law enforcement officers. He was sentenced to four years and four months in prison by U.S. Judge Rudolph Contreras after pleading guilty to assaulting police with a dangerous weapon.

The prosecutors had recommended a longer sentence of six years and six months due to the severity of Stager’s actions. Stager’s assault on the officer occurred during a particularly violent clash between rioters and police at the Capitol building entrance. Prosecutors described Stager’s behavior as a blatant disregard for the law, emphasizing the harm he caused to the officers involved.

Stager, a 44-year-old from Conway, Arkansas, had traveled to Washington, D.C., for then-President Donald Trump’s rally after delivering a load of produce. Despite his lawyers’ claims that he tried to assist injured individuals in the crowd, Stager’s actions were deemed unacceptable by the court. His attorneys stated that Stager regretted his actions and had planned to turn himself in after the rally.

The aftermath of the Capitol riot has seen over 1,000 individuals charged with federal crimes, with a significant number pleading guilty or being convicted. Stager was indicted alongside eight other defendants for their involvement in the tunnel battle. Several of his co-defendants have also pleaded guilty to assault charges and received prison sentences.

In a similar case, Mason Courson from Florida was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison, while Justin Jersey from Michigan received a sentence of four years and three months. Logan Barnhart, a construction worker from Michigan, was sentenced to three years in prison, and Jack Wade Whitton, a Georgia business owner, is awaiting sentencing on August 16.

Arkansas Trucker Gets 4 Years for Beating Officer with Flagpole at Jan. 6 Riot

On January 6, 2021, a day that will forever be remembered as the storming of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., one Arkansas truck driver made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Peter Francis Stager, a 41-year-old from Conway, Arkansas, was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer during the violent insurrection that took place on that fateful day.

The Incident

On January 6, as supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, chaos ensued. Amid the violence and mayhem, Peter Francis Stager was captured on video assaulting a police officer with a flagpole, striking him repeatedly with the pole while the officer was on the ground.

Stager’s brutal attack on the officer was captured on video and circulated widely on social media, leading to his arrest and subsequent prosecution. In court, Stager expressed remorse for his actions, acknowledging that he had let his emotions get the best of him in the heat of the moment.

The Sentence

In May 2021, Stager pleaded guilty to charges of obstructing an official proceeding, assaulting a law enforcement officer, and using a dangerous weapon during a violent crime. As part of his plea agreement, he was sentenced to four years in federal prison, with an additional three years of supervised release following his incarceration.

Stager’s sentencing sends a clear message that acts of violence and insurrection will not be tolerated in the United States, and that those who engage in such behavior will be held accountable for their actions. The judge presiding over the case emphasized the seriousness of Stager’s crimes and the need for a strong deterrent to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

Lessons Learned

The events of January 6 serve as a sobering reminder of the importance of upholding the rule of law and respecting democratic institutions. The violent attack on the Capitol not only endangered the lives of those inside the building, but also undermined the very fabric of American democracy.

As we reflect on the events of that day and the consequences that have followed, it is crucial that we learn from this dark chapter in our nation’s history. We must work together to heal the deep divisions that have torn us apart and strive to build a more inclusive and tolerant society where violence and extremism have no place.


The sentencing of Peter Francis Stager serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of engaging in acts of violence and insurrection. As we move forward as a nation, it is imperative that we hold accountable those who seek to undermine our democracy and work towards a more peaceful and just society for all.



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