Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer Was Pepper-Sprayed by Capitol Police, Spent Nine Minutes Inside Building
Iced Earth guitarist Jon Schaffer recently pleaded guilty to two charges related to the Capitol riot earlier this year. Schaffer’s full Statement of Offense reveals he was in the Capitol for a total of nine minutes and exited the building after being “sprayed in the face with [an] irritant.”
Schaffer was one of the first rioters arrested for breaching the Capitol as the Senate was certifying Joe Biden’s Presidential Election victory on Jan. 6. Though originally charged with six separate crimes, Schaffer entered into a plea deal with authorities, admitting guilt on two charges — Obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress and Trespassing on restricted grounds of the Capitol while armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
Schaffer’s full Statement of Offense, which was signed by Schaffer and his lawyer in mid-April, lays out the details of the guitarist’s unlawful entry into the Capitol.
“At approximately 2:40 p.m., as legislators and their staff were being evacuated to secure locations, SCHAFFER - still wearing his Oath Keepers hat and tactical vest, and still carrying on his person bear spray - positioned himself at the front of a large mob that broke open the Capitol building doors being guarded by four Capitol Police officers wearing riot gear,” the statement reads. “SCHAFFER was among the first six individuals to push past the damaged doors and into the building, forcing the officers to retreat. As the mob swelled inside, and officers were being assaulted, SCHAFFER and other members of the mob continued to advance while aggressively gesturing toward a row of five to six backpedaling officers trying to maintain a security line in front of them.”
The statement goes on to document Schaffer being pepper sprayed by Capitol Police. “The officers' effort quickly failed as SCHAFFER and the rest of the mob overwhelmed the officers, who ultimately deployed a chemical irritant to disperse the mob. SCHAFFER was among those who were sprayed in the face by the irritant. He thereafter exited the building, with his unholstered bear spray now in hand, through the same doors that he had entered through approximately nine minutes earlier.”
“SCHAFFER unlawfully entered the building with the purpose of influencing, affecting, and retaliating against the conduct of government by stopping or delaying the Congressional proceeding by intimidation or coercion. SCHAFFER admits that his belief that the Electoral College results were fraudulent is not a legal justification for unlawfully entering the Capitol building and using intimidation to influence, stop, or delay the Congressional proceeding.”
Schaffer’s Statement of Offense concludes with a Defendant’s Acceptance — a written admission of guilt concerning the details documented within. “The Statement of Offense is a summary made for the purpose of providing the Court with a factual basis for my guilty plea,” Schaffer admits. “It does not include all of the facts known to me regarding these offenses. I make this statement knowingly and voluntarily and because I am in fact guilty of the crime to which I am pleading guilty.”
Read the full Statement of Offense here.
Schaffer is currently facing up to 30 years in prison for the nine minutes he spent inside the Capitol Building. He was released on bail and is awaiting sentencing. The attack on the Capitol resulted in five deaths, assaults on nearly 140 police officers and the evacuation of Congress.