CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A Terrell man has been arrested on felony charges for his actions during the 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Lee Stutts, 46, has been charged with felony offenses of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon and obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder. Officials said Stutts has also been 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.
“His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said on Thursday.
Stutts, a former U.S. Marine, was taken into custody on Thursday in North Carolina. He is expected to make his initial appearance on Friday in the Western District of North Carolina.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Stutts, wearing a black helmet, was among a mob illegally massed on the West Plaza of the Capitol grounds. At approximately 1 p.m., officials said Stutts approached a line of U.S. Capitol Police officers who had formed a protective barrier on the Plaza in an effort to prevent the rioters from entering the Capitol building.
Between approximately 1:10 p.m. and 1:40 p.m., Stutts is accused of physically assaulting at least seven different U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department officers. He is also accused of throwing an item towards a line of officers, pushing a metal bike rack fencing into officers, and joining other rioters in using an enormous sign as a battering ram against police.
At approximately 2:28 p.m., officials said Stutts was one of the rioters who led the way in the final breaking of the police line on the West Plaza. After the Plaza was overrun, Stutts could be observed raising his arms and pumping his fists in a celebratory manner.
This case is being investigated by FBI Charlotte and the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
In the 34 months since Jan. 6, 2021, authorities said more than 1,200 people have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol.