Arrested Capitol rioter claims he thought officer he beat with US flagpole was 'antifa': report

On Thursday, The Daily Beast reported that an Arkansas man, Peter Francis Stager, has been arrested after being identified as a Capitol rioter who beat a Metropolitan Police officer with an American flagpole.

"Prosecutors allege in a criminal complaint that members of the MAGA mob who stormed the building last Wednesday grabbed the officer, dragged him down a flight of stairs, and forced him into a 'prone position,' before 'forcibly and repeatedly' hitting him in the head and body with 'various objects,'" reported Pilar Melendez.

"Video footage of the violent attack shows Stager with a large group on the stairs of the Capitol building and holding a flagpole," said the report. "Another video shows Stager hit the officer while he 'remained prone on the steps' of the government building. The FBI said they learned of Stager's identity from a confidential informant who saw the videos on social media."

According to the report, Stager is claiming that he attacked the officer because he mistook him for a member of "antifa," a disorganized group of anti-fascist protesters that Republicans believe coordinates acts of violence against Trump supporters — even though the officer was dressed in uniform and clearly identifiable as law enforcement.