Michael J. Lopatic Sr

Michael J. Lopatic Sr.

A recently unsealed grand jury indictment reveals more details about what federal prosecutors contend Michael J. Lopatic Sr. did during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Lopatic, 57, of Manheim Township, was arrested on Feb. 3 and has been in federal detention since. 

Federal prosecutors charged the former enlisted Marine with repeatedly punching one police officer in the head during the insurrection. They also said he ripped the body camera off a second officer and later threw it away, apparently trying to get rid of evidence.

According to the indictment, Lopatic and two other men, Peter Francis Stager, of Arkansas, and Jeffrey Sabol, of Colorado, interfered with the duties of that second officer, a Metropolitan police officer identified only by his initials, B.M. That resulted in a charge of civil disorder for all three men.

In other court documents, prosecutors accused Stager of beating B.M. with a flagpole and Sabol of taking the officer’s baton from him and holding it across his back while the officer was laying facedown on the ground.

According to federal prosecutors, images from video footage included in the court documents show Stager and Sabol together near B.M. Lopatic does not appear to be in those images.

An image of Lopatic apparently grabbing toward B.M.’s body camera included in Lopatic’s court documents appears to have been taken in a different area o the Capitol grounds than where B.M. was assaulted.

Lopatic is charged with: assaulting or impeding police; civil disorder; entering restricted areas, and several charges related to disorderly conduct and violence in restricted areas.

Court filings do not list an attorney for him.

The Jan. 29 indictment that lists the charges became publicly available Wednesday in the federal court’s electronic docketing system, although Washington, D.C., District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan had ordered the case be unsealed Friday. 

The grand jury indictment for Michael Lopatic Sr. of Manheim Township and two other men accused of storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Sullivan had sealed the indictment the same day the grand jury handed it down after finding that Lopatic posed a flight risk and danger if he were to learn authorities planned to arrest him.

Documents were also sealed for the other two men on similar grounds.

Authorities apparently had good reason to believe those who took part in the insurrection might flee: According to Sabol’s court documents, police in New City, New York, stopped Sabol, 51, on Jan. 11 for driving erratically.

They found him  “covered in blood, suffering from severe lacerations to both thighs and arms. ... he made several spontaneous statements to include but not limited to: “I am tired, I am done fighting”, “My wounds are self-inflicted”, I was “fighting tyranny in the DC Capital”, “I am wanted by the FBI,"" the documents said.

He was also found with an airline ticket and passport; prosecutors later said he wanted to flee to Zurich.

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