This story first appeared in the Fayetteville Observer.
A New York man in the Army just six months was arrested at Fort Bragg last week on allegations he assaulted law enforcement during the January breach of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Spc. James Phillip Mault, 29, is charged with several federal offenses to include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon or inflicting bodily injury; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; and civil disorder, according to a news release Wednesday from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C.
Mault made his initial court appearances on Oct. 8 in the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Fort Bragg spokesman, Col. Joe Buccino, confirmed Wednesday that Mault was arrested on post Oct. 6.
Buccino said it was important to note that Mault joined the Army in May, several months after the incident.
“This thing he allegedly did happened before he was a soldier,” he said.
In a newly unsealed criminal complaint, Mault is accused of spraying a chemical agent at a crush of law enforcement officers attempting to stop throngs of protestors from entering the Capitol building where U.S. Congress was certifying the Electoral college votes naming Joe Biden president.
“A review of a body worn camera from a Metropolitan Police Officer showed ... Mault spraying a chemical agent at law-enforcement officers with his left hand,” the complaint alleges.
He is also accused of confronting law enforcement officers at a barricade and ripping down the barrier which allowed protestors to access the grounds, according to the release.
Despite his actions being captured on officer body cameras, Capitol security cameras and cellphone video posted to social media, Mault denied assaulting anyone or damaging property when he was first contacted by federal agents on Jan. 18, according to the criminal complaint.
“Mault described being caught up in the crowd and the mass of people pushed him closer and closer to the Capitol Building. Mault claimed to have no choice but to move forward because of the press of people behind him,” the complaint states. “Mault ended up right next to an entrance to the Capitol Building but denied entering the Capitol Building,” the complaint states.
Mault also allegedly denied knowing a man seen with him, Cody Mattice, who agents later learned had accompanied Mault and four others from Rochester, New York, on a bus driven by Mault’s father to attend the protest of the certification of Biden’s victory over Donald Trump.
Mault was positively identified, the release states, by the hardhat he wore that was plastered in unique stickers, one of which identified his Ironworkers union in Rochester.
His name was first brought to investigators by an anonymous source who “contacted the FBI National Threat Operations Center (NTOC) to report James Mault breached the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021. Mault was described as wearing a hard hat with stickers, one of them was the Ironworkers Local 33 Rochester, New York (NY). (The source) claimed to have seen a picture of Mault inside the Capitol Building...,” the complaint states.
His positive identification came when agents showed Mault’s mother photographs of her son at the insurrection, according to the complaint.
Mault’s friend Mattice was arrested Oct. 7 in New York, the release said.
In the eight months since Jan. 6, more than 600 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including at least 185 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, according to the news release.