An Indiana man pleaded guilty on Friday to bringing a loaded revolver with him to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6—and assaulting police there with a baton stolen from one of them.
The case of Mark Andrew Mazza, a 57-year-old from Shelbyville, provides a sharp counterpoint to those who play down the breach of Congress by falsely claiming that nobody was armed. Mazza has now acknowledged carrying a Taurus revolver, loaded with .410 gauge shotgun shells and .45 caliber hollow point bullets, to Washington, D.C., first to the Ellipse and then to the Capitol.
The Ellipse was the site of the rally where former President Donald Trump and others delivered speeches. Court papers indicate that he lost possession of the revolver around 2:45 p.m.
A little more than 15 minutes later, rioters attacked Metropolitan Police Department officers in what has been called the “tunnel battle,” which stretched for a reported three hours. Mazza’s statement of offense indicates that he maneuvered to the front of that line at around 3:13 p.m.
Signed by Mazza in late May, the statement recounts the agreed-upon facts of his case.
“When one MPD officer was using his metal collapsible baton to push back the rioters, Mazza took control of the baton from the officer’s hand,” the statement of offense states. “Mazza then armed himself with the baton and swung the baton overhead and downward to strike at the officers in the tunnel entrance. Mazza’s baton struck MPD Officer P.N. in the arm. After striking at the officers with the baton, Mazza yelled at the officers, ‘This is our fucking house! We own this house! We want our house! Get out of the citizen of the United States’ way!'”
“After failing to break through the line of officers, Mazza moved from the front of the tunnel to the back of the tunnel area,” it continues. “Mazza showed other rioters the baton that he had taken from the officers, and he then encouraged other rioters to enter the tunnel area to assist in pushing through the officers. Mazza pulled other rioters into the tunnel area to attack and push against the MPD Officers at the front of the tunnel.”
Mazza acknowledged participating in throng of rioters yelling “heave-ho” and collectively using their body mass to break through the line of police. He and an unidentified friend remained on Capitol grounds until police dispersed them with flash-bang grenades later that afternoon, according to his statement.
On Jan. 8, Mazza reported the gun “stolen” to the Shelbyville, Indiana Police Department, but he concedes that was a false report made to avoid being identified in connection with the attack on the Capitol.
“Sometime after returning home, Mazza further used a hand-held rotary tool to remove the etched serial number markings from the stolen baton,” the statement says.
On Sept. 30, Mazza will face up to 20 years on the count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon and five years on the firearms charge. But Mazza’s plea agreement indicates that he will likely receive a much lower sentence than that. His guidelines range is between 4.75 years and a little less than six years.
Read the statement of offense here:
(Photo via DOJ)
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