Jan. 6 rioter pleads guilty to assaulting Capitol officers with flagpole, baton

A North Carolina man pleaded guilty Wednesday to nine charges related to the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, including a charge of assaulting police officers.

Anthony Mastanduno, 61, pleaded guilty to six felonies including two counts of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers with a deadly and dangerous weapon, engaging in violence with a deadly weapon and civil disorder, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. announced. He also pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor charges, including disorderly conduct in a Capitol building.

The press release said Mastanduno entered the Capitol just after 2:15 p.m. on Jan. 6 before leaving to make his way to the Lower West Terrace at about 2:38 p.m. At about 4:30 p.m., he began “engaging with fellow rioters and participated in coordinated attacks on uniformed police who were defending the Tunnel.”

Mastanduno picked up and threw a “flagpole-like object” toward a line of police officers at the entrance of the Tunnel like he was “throwing a javelin or a spear,” the release stated. He later took a police shield that was stolen from officers to push against the line of law enforcement officers at the tunnel’s entrance.

As he pushed against the line, the attorney’s office said, he used a telescoping baton to “strike at police officers multiple times, aiming for their hands and arms.” He had left the Capitol by about 4:45 p.m. after he was sprayed with a chemical irritant.

He was arrested on Aug. 23 in North Carolina and will be sentenced by District Judge Tanya Chutkan on June 27.

The office noted more than 1,358 individuals have been charged across nearly all 50 states in connection to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

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