South Florida man arrested, charged in Jan. 6 attack on US Capitol

(Carolyn Kaster, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – A Florida man has been arrested on charges related to storming the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection and attacking a police officer, officials said.

Mason Joel Courson, 26, of Tamarac, was arrested Tuesday in South Florida and charged with eight 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, according to court records. He made his initial court appearance Wednesday in Florida, but the case is being prosecuted in Washington federal court.

According to court documents, Courson joined with others objecting to Democratic President Joe Biden’s election victory over former Republican President Donald Trump. A mob attacked the Capitol in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying election results, authorities said. Five people died in the violence.

According to the indictment, 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, Courson participated in “heave-ho” efforts to advance into the Capitol in the area of the Lower West Terrace tunnel leading into the building, officials said.

Attorney Jason Kreiss, who is representing Courson, said he couldn't comment on the case because he hasn't yet seen the government's evidence.

Since Jan. 6, more than 700 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, officials said. More than 220 people have been charge with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.