INDIANAPOLIS – A heavy metal guitarist who was photographed in the US Capitol during the Jan. 6 uprising turned himself in to the FBI Sunday afternoon, according to FBI spokeswoman Chris Bavender of Indianapolis.
Jon Ryan Schaffer, born in Indiana and founder of the band Iced Earth, is accused of using “bear spray,” a pepper-based irritant sold by many outdoor stores, on police officers when rioters broke into the Capitol. a federal statement of facts in his case, he says Schaffer was seen in photos and videos “engaged in verbal altercations with the Capitol Police in the Capitol Building” and holding a container of bear spray.
He was featured on an FBI poster asking for the public’s help in identifying protesters. Multiple people contacted by IndyStar identified Schaffer as the man seen in a photo in the Capitol.
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Bavender said Schaffer faces six charges, including committing physical assault in a Capitol building, Bavender told IndyStar. He is also charged with knowingly entering or staying in a prohibited building or property without lawful authority, disrupting the orderly business of the government, violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, committing physical assault in a Capitol building, and demonstrate or demonstrate in a Capitol.
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The US Department of Justice posted: charges against dozens of people for crimes committed at the US Capitol on Jan. 6 on its website.
Five people died on Jan. 6 when a mob, fueled by President Donald Trump’s false claims of a “stolen” election, raided the Capitol in an attempt to dissuade lawmakers from confirming President-elect Joseph Biden’s victory. Among the dead was a police officer.
The FBI poster features Schaffer’s image as photo #25. In the photo, Schaffer is wearing an Oath Keepers ball cap. The group is characterized as a militia of former law enforcement and military personnel, but has been described as an extremist anti-government group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Schaffer has previously attended Trump rallies and promoted conspiracy theories. He was once a guest on Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ far-right radio show, and he told a German news channel last November that a shadowy criminal enterprise is trying to run a world government under a communist agenda. He and other Americans, he said, were prepared for bloodshed to prevent that.
The factual statement, filed in federal court by an FBI agent whose name was redacted in the document, says:
Schaffer, the frontman of the heavy metal band ‘Iced Earth’, has long held far-right extremist views. During a 2017 interview, Schaffer identified himself as an ‘anarchist’ and referred to the federal government as a ‘criminal enterprise.’ During that same interview, Schaffer stated that the 2016 presidential election had been “rigged.”
On November 14, 2020, Schaffer participated in the ‘Million MAGA March’ in Washington, DC with other Oath Keepers members. Schaffer was photographed wearing the same blue hooded sweatshirt and clear plastic sunglasses he wore on January 6, 2021.
“Schaffer was approached by a member of the press in March (November) and made numerous statements stating that he intends to fight the election results with others – by force if necessary. In particular, Schaffer stated the following: My name is Jon Schaffer , I am from Indiana. A group of thugs and criminals hijacked this country a long time ago. And now they are taking their big step, and it’s not going to happen. … People need to wake up and get out of the Matrix, because they go down. They took the step, they mess with the wrong people here, believe me. And we needed to be so open. Open fraud. Open theft. Because now we see you, and you go down When asked if he expected the protest to involve violence, Schaffer said, “If anyone wants to bring violence, I think there are many of us here who are ready. We don’t do it’ I don’t want that, but if they bring it, we’re going to respond to that, believe me.’
Schaffer went on to state, ‘We’re not going to merge into some globalist, communist system, that’s not going to happen. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed when it comes down to it, believe me. “Once we understand what’s really happening. So that’s where we are. Nobody wants this, but they push us to a point where we don’t have a choice.” “
Schaffer and his band appeared on the pages of The Indianapolis Star in 2001, after Schaffer rose to prominence. Schaffer hasn’t said anything publicly, but four of his Iced Earth band members posted a statement on Instagram and Facebook against the uprising.
“We absolutely do NOT condone or support any rioting or the acts of violence involving the rioters on January 6 in the US Capitol building,” they wrote. “We hope that all those involved will be brought to justice that day to be investigated and held accountable for their actions.”
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Iced Earth Guitarist Jon Schaffer Arrested By FBI After Capitol Riots