By Kevin Deutsch
A Tamarac man was arrested Tuesday for assaulting law enforcement and other federal crimes during the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
Mason Joel Courson, 26, is charged with offenses that include assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, inflicting bodily injury, civil disorder, and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, among other crimes, according to federal prosecutors.
Courson was arrested in Tamarac and made his initial court appearance Wednesday in federal court in Miami. He was held pending further court proceedings, according to DOJ.
Courson and a second defendant, Justin Jersey, 31, of Flint, Michigan, allegedly took part in the attack and rioting that disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election.
They were named as additional defendants in a third superseding indictment returned on Nov. 17, 2021, in the District of Columbia.
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 during the Jan. 6 riots. Earlier that afternoon, 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, federal prosecutors said.
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. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida also helped build the case against Courson, according to DOJ.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which identified Courson from one of numerous photos of formerly unidentified Jan. 6 rioters released to the public as part of the effort to capture them, authorities said.
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, according to DOJ.
All are charged with assaulting law enforcement and related offenses.
In the 11 months 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, including over 220 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation is ongoing.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.