Colorado Man Arrested for Assault on District Police Officers During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach
Defendant Accused of Assaulting Two Officers
WASHINGTON — A Colorado man has been arrested for assaulting law enforcement and other crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.
Avery Carter MacCracken, 68, of Telluride, Colorado, is charged with engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, civil disorder, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers, inflicting bodily injury, among other charges. He was arrested on Dec. 11, 2021, in Telluride, Colorado, and made his initial appearance on December 14, 2021, in the District of Columbia. He remains detained pending further court proceedings.
According to court documents, on Jan. 6, MacCracken approached a police line that was attempting to protect the Capitol building and grounds. He assaulted an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department with pushes, shoves, and a strike to the face. The punch to the officer’s cheek caused a cut to the officer’s face under his eye. Additionally, according to court documents, MacCracken moved along the police line and assaulted a second Metropolitan Police Department Officer by pushing, shoving, and grabbing the officer.
From the Statement of Facts of charges:
Avery MacCracken’s Participation in the Events of January 6, 2021
- During the course of the investigation into the events of January 6, 2021, law enforcement obtained video and photographic footage capturing the events at the Capitol.
Among the individuals in the footage was a white male who was observed in physical altercations with uniformed police officers on the U.S. Capitol grounds. The identity of
the individual was initially unknown and was labeled as AFO-387, for cataloguing purposes. A
photograph of the individual identified as AFO-387 is below:
- The FBI published the photo of AFO-387 on its public website in an effort to
identify the individual. As detailed below, several members of the public provided information
regarding the identity of the person depicted in AFO-387.
- Telluride, Colorado is a small, mountain town situated in the high Rocky Mountains of western Colorado. Due to its small population and tight-knit community, the majority of the local residents are known to eachother. Furthermore, local law enforcement in the town is comprised of the Telluride Marshal’s Office (TMO) and the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office (SMCSO), both relatively small agencies. Deputies of TMO and SMCSO are very
familiar with the local resident population, especially with those that they have frequent contact with.
- Tipster-1, a local Telluride resident, contacted Sheriff Bill Masters of SMCSO in
Telluride, Colorado to report that after he/she reviewed images from the public FBI website as
well as another public website, called the Sedition Hunters (www.seditionhunters.org/387-afocovereddragon/), he/she recognized the identity of the individual depicted in AFO-387. Tipster-1 advised that the individual on the FBI and Sedition Hunters websites under the AFO-387 identifier appeared to be Avery MacCracken, whom he/she recognized from the community.
- Tipster-1 did not make his/her identification based on the photograph posted to the FBI website alone, but based its identification on additional images of the individual depicted in AFO-387 that included pictures where the individual’s face was not obstructed (these images were not posted by the FBI, but were publicly posted on the Sedition Hunters website).
- In reviewing the images from the Internet pages that Tipster-1 provided, Sheriff Masters separately recognized the male individual and identified him as Avery MacCracken.
Sheriff Masters has been in law enforcement in Telluride for more than 40 years. He has known
Avery MacCracken to reside in the Telluride area on and off for most of that time period as well.
As such, Sheriff Masters knows MacCracken extremely well, with numerous and frequent
contacts by himself personally, and by his deputies. Sheriff Masters made particular note that
MacCracken, as a resident of the community, is oftentimes homeless and lives out of his vehicle.
He further explained he has seen MacCracken dressed in the very same clothes on multiple
occasions in Telluride, as depicted in the FBI and Sedition Hunters websites. Sheriff Masters
also noted that one picture of the subject on the Sedition Hunters website depicts the subject
standing on the sidewalk in front of two buildings. He recognized the doors to the New Sheridan Bar and next to it, the San Miguel County Courthouse, located on the downtown street in
Telluride, Colorado. The picture referenced by Sheriff Masters is on the far right of the image
- I captured a photo of the same downtown area in Telluride from an open source
mapping website for comparison purposes. I have also been to Telluride many times in my
official and personal capacities and am familiar with the buildings referenced I captured a photo of the same downtown area in Telluride from an open source mapping website for comparison purposes. I have also been to Telluride many times in my official and personal capacities and am familiar with the buildings referenced.
- Another response to the FBI’s wanted page and Sedition Hunters photos came from Chief Marshal Josh Comte, Telluride Marshal’s Office. Chief Comte reviewed both the photos from the FBI website, as well as the Sedition Hunters website, and compared them to each other. He stated that he recognized the subject as a man named Avery MacCracken, a member of the Telluride community. Deputies of the Telluride Marshal’s Office have had numerous interactions with MacCracken, including Chief Comte dealing personally with him. Chief Comte also recognized the clothing of MacCracken in the referenced photos as the same identifiable clothes that are frequently worn by MacCracken in Colorado.
- This clothing includes a red hat, blue jacket with a logo on the chest, white shorts over dark leggings, and boots:
- On December 2, 2021, Chief Comte again observed MacCracken walking his dog
in Telluride; MacCracken was wearing the same identifiable clothing: red hat, blue jacket, white
shorts with black stripe on the sides, and black leggings.
Assault on Federal Officers
- On January 6, 2021, Washington, D.C. Metroplitan Police (MPD) Officer J.G. was assigned on a protective, police line at the United States Capitol Building grounds. He was wearing police-issued clothing and was identifiable as a police officer. Officer J.G. was also wearing a police-issued body worn camera (BWC) that was activated, capturing video footage of
interactions during this assignment.
- During the civil unrest that ensued, a male individual (AFO-387) – later identified
as Avery MacCracken, as set forth above – approached Officer J.G. and engaged in physical
contact, assaulting Officer J.G. with pushes, shoves, and a strike to the face. Specifically,
MacCracken punched Officer J.G. with his closed fist in the right cheek, causing a cut to the face under his right eye. Officer J.G. took a selfie-pic of his injuries and provided self-aid; he did not seek other medical care.
- Officer J.G.’s BWC footage was provided to the FBI and reviewed. I have reviewed the pertinent portions of the BWC video and captured images from the video to present herein. A portion of the video footage depicts the individual in AFO-387, identified as MacCracken as set forth above, approaching the police line and specifically Officer J.G. While approaching, MacCracken clinched his fists in a fighting manner, and then engaged in assaulting Officer J.G., by pushing, tugging, and striking him in the face.
- Standing next to MPD Officer J.G. was MPD Officer H.F. BWC Footage was also obtained from Officer H.F., which pertinent portions I have revewied. As MacCracken moved along the police line, he also physically engaged with assaulting Officer H.F. The assault is characterized by pushing, shoving, grabbing Officer H.F.’s arm/elbow and possibly striking him. The BWC footage of Officer J.G. depicts some of the assault on Officer H.F. as well as the BWC footage of Officer H.F.
Travel of MacCracken from Colorado to Washington, D.C
- Although MacCracken is considered a transient with no permanent place of residence, he has been known to “reside” in the Telluride, Colorado area for several years. His vehicle is registered in the State of Colorado and he has a Colorado driver’s license. I have reviewed travel records pertaining to MacCracken on or around the dates before and after January 6, 2021. MacCracken purchased airfare and on January 3, 2021, traveled via commercial
air from Montrose, Colorado to Washington D.C. MacCracken then returned to Colorado on
January 9, 2021, via commercial air, departing Washington, D.C. and arriving at Montrose,
Colorado. Montrose Regional Airport is the closest commercial airport to Telluride.
Federal Violations Committed
- Based on the foregoing, I submit there is probable cause to believe that
MacCracken violated 18 U.S.C. § 1752(a)(1) and (2), which makes it a crime to (1) knowingly
enter or remain in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do; and (2)
knowingly, and with intent to impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions, engage in disorderly or disruptive conduct in, or within such proximity to, any restricted building or grounds when, or so that, such conduct, in fact, impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions; (4) knowingly engages in any act of physical violence against any person or property in any restricted building or grounds; or
attempts or conspires to do so. For purposes of Section 1752 of Title 18, a “restricted building”
includes a posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service, including the Vice President, is or will be temporarily visiting; or any building or grounds so restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance.
- I believe there is probable cause to believe that MacCracken violated 18 U.S.C.
§§ 111(a)(1) and (b) – which makes it a crime to forcibly assault or interfere and aid or abet such
a forcible assault or interference, with any person designated in section 1114 of this title 18 while engaged in or on account of the performance of official duties.
- Your affiant submits there is also probable cause to believe that MacCracken
violated 40 U.S.C. § 5104(e)(2)(F), which makes it a crime to willfully and knowingly (F)
engage in an act of physical violence in the Grounds or any of the Capitol Buildings.
- I submit there is probable cause to believe that MacCracken violated 18 U.S.C. §
231(a)(3), which makes it unlawful to commit or attempt to commit any act to obstruct, impede, or interfere with any fireman or law enforcement officer lawfully engaged in the lawful
performance of his official duties incident to and during the commission of a civil disorder which in any way or degree obstructs, delays, or adversely affects commerce or the movement of any article or commodity in commerce or the conduct or performance of any federally protected function. For purposes of Section 231 of Title 18, a federally protected function means any function, operation, or action carried out, under the laws of the United States, by any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States or by an officer or employee thereof. This includes the Joint Session of Congress where the Senate and House count Electoral College votes.