A Florida man who attacked a police officer being dragged into the mob at the January 6 Capitol riot faces a lengthy prison sentence under a plea agreement entered today, according to the Department of Justice.
Mason Joel Courson, 27, of Tamarac, Fla., pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to assaulting a law enforcement officer with a dangerous weapon. Courson would face between 63 and 87 months in prison if a judge follows federal sentencing guidelines. Sentencing is set for March 31, 2023.
Courson was part of a mob that confronted law enforcement officers at the Archway and tunnel areas leading into the Capitol Building from the Lower West Terrace, the DOJ stated. He was at the bottom of a staircase when other rioters dragged an officer down the steps into the crowd.
Courson then used a baton to assault the officer, who sustained bruising and abrasions, according to the DOJ. Courson took home the baton as a “trophy,” a fact that caught the attention of the federal judge who ruled against allowing him bail last December, as Raw Story reported at the time.
“I find it significant that [Courson] kept the baton with which he assaulted [the officer],” U.S. Magistrate Judge Jared M. Strauss wrote in a Dec. 23 detention order issued in federal court in Fort Lauderdale. “Whether [Courson] intended to keep it as a trophy or a memento, I cannot determine. However, the fact that [Courson] kept that weapon over the course of the last year is not emblematic of someone who has remorse or has come to regret his actions after the passions of the moment have subsided.
Courson is among a group of eight defendants named in an indictment in this case: Three others have pleaded guilty, while four have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting further court proceedings, according to the DOJ.