An Alabama man accused of hitting a U.S. Capitol Police officer with a flagpole during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was arrested Wednesday after another riot suspect identified him, the Justice Department said.
The man, Gregory Lamar Nix, 52, is charged with engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; civil disorder; assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers with a dangerous weapon; and other counts.
He was arrested in Cleveland, Alabama, where he lives, and made his first court appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court for Northern Alabama, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said in a statement. It is unclear whether Nix has a lawyer.
A criminal complaint said a separate person, “the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation” who “minimized his/her own role in the events of January 6,” had identified Nix as a person as having entered the Capitol unlawfully.
The suspect, who was not identified, said they knew Nix before Jan. 6, according to the complaint.
The identification of Nix lined up with other evidence, including cellphone data that indicated that he was in the Capitol on Jan. 6, it said.
The criminal complaint includes several photos that appear to show Nix inside and outside the Capitol on Jan. 6. One photo, a screenshot taken from surveillance video, shows Nix flashing his middle finger to the camera, according to the complaint.
Not long afterward, Nix can be seen on video approaching Capitol Police officers who were standing guard in front of the East House doors before he attacked one with a flagpole, officials said.
The criminal complaint said he tried to assault the officer with the flagpole seven times.
Nix hit the officer twice, once on the head, and threw the flagpole at him, the government said. The officer told investigators that he woke up with a knot on his head the next day.
After the assault, Nix tried to break the glass panes of the East House doors using a black baton, according to allegations in the complaint.
It is not clear whether the baton came from officers who had “been overrun in that location” or whether it was Nix’s “personal baton,” the complaint said.
The doors were eventually opened, and Nix entered with the black baton, officials said.
More than 675 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol breach, the Justice Department said. More than a third of them have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.