The FBI says a former Marine from North Carolina was wearing combat gear and attacked police in the Jan. 6 riot.
The 46-year-old Terrell man wore a black helmet with a Marine Corps logo sticker on the back as he assaulted at least seven officers during the Capitol riot, according to an FBI affidavit released by federal prosecutors after his arrest in North Carolina on Thursday.
In a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia, Stotts was charged with assaulting, resisting or obstructing officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon and obstructing law enforcement during a civil disturbance, both felonies. He became at least the 31st North Carolinian to be charged in the Jan. 6 attack.
He was also charged with misdemeanor offenses of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds.
Stotts was accused of pushing and shoving officers with his hands, a barricade, a plunger and a bike rack while helping lead the Capitol breach, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
The riot disrupted the joint session of Congress as the electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election were counted. The count certified Joe Biden as the winner over Donald Trump.
“Waving at other troublemakers”
Stotts lives in a two-story house built in 1975 on Clement Circle, Catawba County property tax records show.
The half-acre home, about 33 miles northwest of Charlotte, is valued at $866,600, public records show.
That’s a modest sum on a lake where multi-million dollar mansions line the shore.
Stutts did not return a phone message from The Charlotte Observer on Friday.
On January 6, 2021, Stotts wore a “2020 Trump Keep America Great” T-shirt over a long-sleeved black and gray camouflage print hoodie, according to the affidavit filed by an unnamed FBI special agent.
He was also wearing an American flag and eagle print neck gaiters and was wearing a backpack.
After joining a “Stop the Steal” rally on the Ellipse in Washington, Stotts rushed through a broken fence and over a wall to join fellow rioters on the West Plaza of the Capitol, according to the affidavit.
“He can be seen compromising [sic] “Other rioters were making a beeline for the line of U.S. Capitol Police officers blocking the path to the southwest steps of the Capitol Building,” the agent says in the affidavit.
Stotts wrapped his arms around an officer from behind and pushed an officer from behind with his hands, according to the indictment.
Police body camera and closed-circuit video also show Stotts assaulting four other officers after more police arrived to try to hold their line with metal bike racks, the FBI agent said.
“He pumps his fists”
Stotts and other rioters later moved a large banner on wheels with a metal frame toward the police line and barricade. “The rioters used the sign as a tool against the officers who were trying to hold the line,” the agent said.
Stotts then grabbed the bike rack bar under the sign and pushed him toward officers, according to the affidavit.
After police took the sign from the rioters, a video shows Stotts throwing a water bottle at the police line, the FBI agent said.
Later that afternoon, the agent said, “Stutts was one of the rioters who led the way” in a final breach of the police line. “After sweeping the plaza, Stotts could be seen raising his arms and beating his fists in a celebratory manner as police officers backed away from the oncoming swarm of rioters.”
Stotts was scheduled to make his first appearance in a US court on Friday in the Western District of North Carolina, based in Charlotte. The outcome of the hearing was not immediately available.
Stotts joins at least 1,200 others from all 50 states who have been charged in connection with the Capitol breach, which caused… $2.7 million in damages.
His case is being investigated by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. The office of U.S. Attorney Dina King in Charlotte is assisting.