Capitol Rioter: “It Was F****** Fun”
Stephen Chase Randolph and Mark and Jalise Middleton just learned the hard way that rioting at the U.S. Capitol is all fun and games until you get locked up. They each were arrested and charged last week with assaulting police officers during the Jan. 6 insurrection. And in large part for each, it was their braggadocio on social media that led the FBI to their doorsteps.
Randolph, a 31-year-old from Harrodsburg, Ky., is facing three charges: assaulting, resisting or impeding an officer causing bodily injury; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; and obstruction of justice and Congress. Law enforcement officials say video from the scene showed Randolph “forcibly pushing and pulling” on “metal barricades, causing a USCP (U.S. Capitol Police) officer to fall and hit her head on the stairs before losing consciousness. He continued to assault two other USCP officers by physically pushing, shoving, grabbing and generally resisting the officers.”
Randolph bragged about his actions during a conversation with two undercover FBI agents who visited him at his place of employment. The agents surreptitiously recorded Randolph telling them “I was in it” and “it was f****** fun.” The FBI found its way to Randolph through the use of video and still photos taken on the day of the riot, facial recognition technology and his supposed girlfriend’s Instagram account.
The married Middleton couple also made it easy for police to track them down. Both of them posted multiple times on their respective Facebook pages throughout the afternoon of Jan. 6 about their actions. Mark Middleton posted: “We are on the front lines. We helped push down the barriers. Jalise and I got pepper sprayed, clubbed, and tear gassed. We had to retreat, but more patriots pushed forward, and they’re taking back our house. No more fooling around!” Below is an FBI-provided image of Mark Middleton’s posts.
The Middletons each face the following seven charges: (1) assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; (2) obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; (3) obstruction of justice/congress; (4) knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; (5) disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; (6) engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; (7) violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds.