Uniontown man convicted at trial of assaulting police with pepper spray at Jan. 6 Capitol riots




  • In US
  • 2022-12-07 21:22:53Z
  • By WPXI
 

A Uniontown man was one of the first Capitol breach defendants to be convicted at trial of assaulting police officers with pepper spray.

According to the Department of Justice, Peter J. Schwartz, 49, and his wife Shelly Stallings, who pleaded guilty in August, traveled to Washington, D.C., and were around the area of the Lower West Terrace at the Capitol.

Officials said Schwartz threw a folding chair at officers in a police line at around 2:28 p.m. and told a friend that he "started a riot" by "throwing the first chair."

Schwartz then stole police duffle bags full of pepper-spray canisters and gave them to other members of the mob, the Department of Justice said. The organization also said that he began spraying at any retreating police officer he could find.

Schwartz followed officers up into the lower west terrace tunnel where he joined dozens of other rioters. They heaved against the police line, Schwartz showing another member of the mob how to operate the pepper-spray canisters, officials said.

Schwartz was arrested in Uniontown on Feb. 4, 2021.

Schwartz was convicted of four counts of felony assaulting, resisting or impeding law enforcement officers using a dangerous weapon; interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder; obstruction of an official proceeding; and related charges.

The charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers using a dangerous weapon carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison, as does the charge of obstruction of an official proceeding. The charge of interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison.

Sentencing has not yet been scheduled but is expected to take place in early 2023, officials said.

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