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NC man jumped barricades, attacked police with metal flagpole on Jan. 6, DOJ says

Matthew Beddingfield was arrested on charges for assault on law enforcement during the Jan. 6, 2021 attack.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina man is behind bars on charges stemming from his alleged involvement in the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.

The most serious charge Matthew Beddingfield, 21, of Middlesex, North Carolina, faces is assaulting a police officer using a dangerous weapon.

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Beddingfield was arrested in Smithfield on Tuesday and will make an initial appearance in court on Wednesday.

According to court documents, Beddingfield's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot includes jumping over a police barricade and charging towards a group of U.S. Capitol police officers on the southwest side of the capitol.

Beddingfield is accused of attacking the officers with a metal flagpole he allegedly brought with him, as seen in the picture below.

Credit: WCNC

In the aftermath of the attack on the Capitol, the Metropolitan Police Department released a document containing roughly 175 slides of 'persons of interest in unrest-related offenses.'

The below image is taken from slide 175. The person in red has been identified as Matthew Beddingfield.

Credit: WCNC

Online sleuths and journalists helped identify Beddingfield as the person in videos and pictures as being present at the capitol during the attack, even as Beddingfield's father told a news media outlet "that his son wasn't at the Capitol on Jan. 6, and that indeed Matthew had never been there at all."

It would later be discovered by federal prosecutors that Beddingfield's father posted photos of him and his son at a Washington, D.C. event called the Million MAGA March.

Credit: WCNC

Investigators used pictures from that November 2020 rally Beddingfield and his father attended as a way to identify him during the Jan. 6 attack. According to investigators, Beddingfield's shoes and the flagpole he had with him were the same at both events.

In court documents submitted this month, investigators also outline Beddingfield's moves as he went inside the capitol. They accuse Beddingfield of being on the restricted grounds that day for more than two hours.

Beddingfield is highlighted in red in the picture below.

Credit: WCNC

According to investigators, once Beddingfield was inside the building, he walked some laps around the Rotunda, waving his flag and stomping on the ground.

Beddingfield, according to investigators, joined a group of rioters who tried to storm the Senate Wing. They were eventually forced out of the Capitol by police.

This is not Beddingfield's first brush with the law. According to court documents, while he allegedly stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, he was out on bail on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the December 2019 shooting of a teenager in a Walmart parking lot.

Beddingfield has since pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in connection to that shooting. He was out on probation when he was arrested on Tuesday. 

Beddingfield faces several charges, including:

  • assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon or inflicting bodily injury
  • civil disorder
  • engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds
  • parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building
  • entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon
  • impeding passage through the capitol grounds or buildings
  • disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds

According to court documents, Beddingfield's North Carolina probation officer identified Beddingfield from images the FBI provided in connection to the US Capitol riot.

Beddingfield is one of more than a dozen North and South Carolina residents charged in connection to the attack on the capitol. Across the country, more than 725 individuals have been arrested for crimes related to the breach.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov. 

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