Federal prosecutors unsealed charges against two more men accused of assaulting law enforcement on Jan. 6, adding to a growing docket of more than 185 similar cases related to the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The men, 28-year-old Cody Mattice and 29-year-old James Phillip Mault, allegedly sprayed chemical agent toward police officers.
Though Mattice went by the social media handle “Cody from Rochester,” prosecutors say that both men hailed from a suburb some 20 miles away from that New York metropolis: Brockport. Mault subsequently moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The FBI also says that Mattice got what he gave.
“One mobile device recorded a young man, who identified himself as ‘Cody from Rochester,’ recovering from a recent exposure to pepper spray,” the FBI’s affidavit states. “In the video, Cody is pouring water in his face to rinse the pepper spray from his eyes. Cody said he did not want to fight anyone and was pushed.”
Authorities claim that Mault cheered Mattice on for confronting police.
“Another individual in the photo was identified as James Phillip Mault seen in the previous photo standing to the right of Mattice and wearing a red/brown colored hard hat,” the affidavit states. “Mault praised Mattice for confronting law enforcement officers after being pepper sprayed.”
An anonymous tipster identified Mault to the FBI, pointing out the decal on his hard hat from the Ironworkers Local 33 Rochester, New York.
The complainant, identified in court papers as “C1,” had “claimed to have seen a picture of Mault inside the Capitol Building and was standing beside the killed police officer,” without specifying any more details about the officer in question.
The FBI says that a second tipster flagged two more photographs of Mault from the Reuters news wire. From there, authorities say they located Mault through his mother.
“On January 18, 2021, Anita Mault, the mother of James Mault, was interviewed by FBI Special Agents,” the affidavit states. “Anita’s husband drove a bus of approximately five individuals to include her son, James Mault, to attend the protest in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021. Anita Mault was shown a photograph of an individual believed to be James Mault taken from the January 6, 2021 riot. Anita Mault recognized the individual wearing the red hard hat as James based on the unique characteristics of the hard hat, to include the specific union decals.”
The mother gave the FBI her son’s phone number, and agents interviewed her son later that day, according to the complaint.
“Mault traveled with five of his friends to the rally and stated it was important for everyone to have a group of friends that can rely on each other these days,” the affidavit states. “Mault claimed that he wore his hard hat from work because he was aware of ANTIFA attacking Trump supporters after events in Washington, D.C. and the helmet would provide some level of protection.”
Claiming to have been “caught up in the crowd,” Mault told agents he had “no choice but to move forward because of the press of people behind him.
“Mault ended up right next to an entrance to the Capitol Building but denied entering the Capitol Building,” the affidavit states. “Mault also denied assaulting anyone or damaging property. Mault acknowledged witnessing law enforcement officers being assaulted and property destruction.”
The FBI says that body-worn camera footage from a Metropolitan Police Officer showed otherwise.
“At approximately 4:06 P.M., the same body worn camera showed Mault spraying a chemical agent at law enforcement officers with his left hand,” the affidavit states.
Authorities also credited Sedition Hunters, a collective of online sleuths in Jan. 6 cases, with a breakthrough in reviewing footage.
“Based on an open source, seditionhunters.org, a photo of Mattice captured him using a chemical agent in the direction of where law enforcement officers were known to be standing,” the affidavit states. “Mault, who was standing next to Mattice, also sprayed the chemical agent in the same direction with his left hand, which is likely the same incident from the aforementioned photo.”
“An additional mobile device recorded Mault and Mattice from another angle outside the sally port of the lower west terrace entrance spraying law enforcement officers with a chemical agent,” it continues.
Closed circuit TV from the lower west terrace entrance also captured the pair using chemical agent, the FBI said.
The two are charged with assaulting law enforcement, entering a restricted building with a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct inside a restricted building with a dangerous weapon, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building with a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, and an act of violence inside Capitol grounds. Prosecutors announced their charges on Wednesday and said both men remain detained.
Earlier this month, the Syracuse Post-Standard counted 47 people from the Empire State arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, including upstate New Yorkers charged with assaulting police. The latter group includes Newburgh resident Edward Lang, Albany resident Jonathan Munafo, and Buffalo resident Thomas Sibick, the accused assailant of Officer Michael Fanone.
Read their FBI affidavit below:
(Photos via FBI affidavit)
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