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FBI: Lorain Man Charged With Hitting Officer During Jan. 6 Capitol Riot

Updated: 6:12 p.m., Wedensday, March 17, 2021

The FBI arrested a 20-year-old Lorain man Wednesday on charges that he attacked a Capitol Police officer while storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Authorities charged Clifford Mackrell with assaulting an officer, entering restricted grounds, obstruction of law enforcement and violent entry.

Mackrell made an initial appearance in federal court Wednesday afternoon before Magistrate Judge William H. Baughman Jr., who ordered him to be released ahead of a future court appearance in Washington, D.C. An attorney appointed for Mackrell declined to comment Wednesday afternoon.

A video posted online shows a man striking a Capitol Police officer and pulling on his gas mask as a crowd fought with police outside U.S. Capitol Building, according to an FBI affidavit. The man told the videographer that his name was Cliff and that he was from Ohio, saying, “whatever it takes for my country,” the affidavit alleges.

After authorities publicized an image of the man’s face, the FBI received a tip identifying him as a 2018 graduate of Wellington High School, the affidavit says.

The FBI identified Mackrell using photos from his Facebook page and obtained a search warrant for his Facebook messages, according to the affidavit.

In those messages, Mackrell discussed being in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, the day supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol while Congress attempted to formally acknowled Joe Biden’s presidential victory.

“Well think about what happened today,” the affidavit quotes Mackrell as writing in a Facebook message, “it was just a warning we didn’t use any weapons but flags and hand no one had a gun now what would happen if we did???”

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