WASHINGTON (CN) — A Maryland man who waved a Confederate flag attached to a lacrosse stick during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot pleaded guilty Tuesday for his role in the insurrection.
David Blair, 26, of Clarksburg, Maryland, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obstructing a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder, in exchange for the eight other charges against him to be dropped, including violence with a deadly weapon on restricted grounds.
Instead of decades behind bars, Blair now faces a maximum sentence of up to five years incarceration, three years’ probation and a $250,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, Blair, wearing a skull face mask, positioned himself between a crowd and line of police officers on the west lawn outside the U.S. Capitol building around 5:45 p.m. on Jan. 6.
At one point, prosecutors say he can be heard through officer body camera footage yelling, "Hell naw, quit backing up. Don't be scared, we're Americans, don't be scared. Let's go quit backing up, quit being scared."
As the line of police continued to push forward, an officer identified in court filings as K.P. is said to have used his baton to shove Blair back toward the crowd. Blair reportedly responded by jumping back and “squaring up his body” to stand in front of the officer.
“Blair held the lacrosse stick attached to the Confederate flag with two hands and started shouting, ‘what's up motherfucker, what's up, what's up bitch?’” the complaint states. “Blair thrust the stick at Officer K.P towards the chest area, striking him.”
Nearby officers say they restrained Blair using their batons and handcuffed him. Without being asked any questions, prosecutors say Blair commented that, “I understand, what I did, the one motherfucker swung at me so I kinda switched . . . so I apologize, we’re done though.”
Police also searched his bag and found a silver knife, according to court filings.
Asked why he had the knife, Blair allegedly said, “cause I was worried about Antifa and other people trying to jump me.” He was also taken to an area hospital to be treated for a laceration on his head.
When FBI agents searched his residence on Jan. 21, 2021, they said Blair put a bag on his bed with several items he claims to have brought to the Capitol on Jan. 6, including a roll of grey duct tape and tactical gloves.
“Blair volunteered that he had done this because ‘he figured that [we’d] be coming and these were what you were looking for,’ or words to that effect,” according to the complaint.
Elsewhere in the house, agents say they discovered brass knuckles and a small cardboard box with Confederate flags printed on them.
Blair was arrested again on Feb. 17 and released the same day on personal recognizance with an order to stay away from Washington, D.C.
U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper, an Obama appointee, is scheduled to sentence Blair on July 13. The defendant is represented by Terrell Roberts III and Jose German.
Blair is among more than 770 people who have been charged in connection with the Capitol riot.
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