Defendant Accused of Joining Group in Attack on Officer; He is Now Among Nine Charged in Federal Indictment
A Florida man was arrested yesterday for assaulting law enforcement and inflicting bodily injury during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Mason Joel Courson, 26, of Tamarac, Florida, is charged with federal offenses that include assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers and inflicting bodily injury, civil disorder, and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, among other charges. Courson was arrested in Tamarac, Florida, and made his initial court appearance today in the Southern District of Florida. He was detained pending further court proceedings.
Courson and a second defendant, Justin Jersey, 31, of Flint, Michigan, were named as additional defendants in a third superseding indictment returned on Nov. 17, 2021, in the District of Columbia. Jersey was arrested on Dec. 2, 2021. Courson is charged with a total of eight offenses in the indictment. The case previously included seven other defendants: Logan James Barnhart, of Lansing, Michigan; Michael John Lopatic Sr., of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Ronald Colton McAbee, of Unionville, Tennessee; Clayton Ray Mullins, of Benton, Kentucky; Jeffrey Sabol, of Kittredge, Colorado; Peter Francis Stager, of Conway, Arkansas, and Jack Wade Whitton, of Locust Grove, Georgia. All are charged with assaulting law enforcement and related offenses. The superseding indictment adds civil disorder charges against Sabol and Whitton.
According to the indictment, at approximately 4:27 p.m., Courson participated in an assault of a Metropolitan Police Department officer who was beaten by a group armed with a baton, flagpole, and crutch. Earlier that afternoon, at approximately 3:16 p.m., Courson allegedly participated in “heave-ho” efforts to advance into the Capitol in the area of the Lower West Terrace tunnel leading into the building.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Courson as #129 in its seeking information photos, as well as the FBI’s Miami Field Office. Significant assistance has been provided in the investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Capitol Police, and other FBI field offices.
In the 11 months since Jan. 6, more than 700 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 220 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
The charges contained in any criminal complaint or indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.