by: Scott Liles, KTLO
Jon Thomas “JT” Mott of Yellville has been charged with four offenses relating to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
Mott faces charges of Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority; Knowingly Engaging in Disorderly or Disruptive Conduct in Restricted Buildings or Grounds; and two charges of Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds. All four charges carry a penalty of fines and up to six months in prison.
The Yellville man was arrested by FBI agents Thursday and taken to the Sebastian County Jail in Fort Smith, where he made his initial appearance Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas. According to online court and jail records, Mott remains in custody as of Friday afternoon and is scheduled to appear in court in Washington, D.C., next Friday.
The U.S. Capitol building was stormed and overrun Jan. 6 by a large group of protesters demonstrating against Joe Biden’s victory over then-President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. The riot forced Congress to halt the certification of Electoral College results and evacuate the building.
Mott allegedly traveled to D.C. with an individual from Oklahoma identified as “Individual 1” in the Statement of Facts document released by the U.S. Department of Justice on Friday afternoon.
A GoFundMe account set up by Individual 1 to finance the trip to D.C. notes that “Myself and at least one other fellow patriot are traveling from Oklahoma/Arkansas for Washington, D.C.”
Mott is tagged as being with Individual 1 in a lengthy post from Jan. 5 on Individual 1’s Facebook page.
In the Statement of Facts document, the FBI argues that Mott can be seen on a Freedom News video inside the Rotunda area of the Capitol during the riot. The video shows Mott pouring water on another person’s face, a behavior indicative of recovery from tear gas or another similar chemical irritant which was deployed by law enforcement in an effort to subdue the rioters entering the Capitol.
A distinctive tattoo can be seen on the ring finger of the man pouring water in the Freedom News video, and Mott has the same tattoo on his finger, the FBI argues.
Footage from body cameras worn by Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers reportedly recorded Mott inside the Rotunda area of the Capitol on Jan. 6. In one body-cam video, Mott can allegedly be seen yelling at MPD officers. In another he allegedly tells an MPD officer “don’t touch me,” and “if you don’t touch me, I won’t touch you.”
A Jan. 6 Facebook post by Hope Anderson-Mott, Jon Thomas Mott’s wife, reports “…everyone keeping up with JT Mott and (Individual 1) they are out of DC and safe.”
On Jan. 7, a witness submitted an electronic tip to the FBI that Individual 1 had posted content to Facebook that linked that individual to the riot. Those posts indicate Mott was with Individual 1 in D.C., and a post by Individual 1 after the riot says in part, “I’m ok. We did it. JT and I got separated for about 20 minutes but I’ve made contact with him. He’s better than ok.”
A second witness on Jan. 9 sent an electronic tip to the FBI regarding a video that shows Individual 1 inside a moving vehicle, where that person appears to discuss the riots and mentions twice that “JT” was there as well.
A third witness was interviewed by phone on Jan. 15 and told agents that Individual 1 had traveled to D.C. and left Oklahoma around Jan. 3 and returned Jan. 8. Individual 1 allegedly showed this witness photos and videos that recorded that individual and Mott inside the Capitol.
Agents conducted physical surveillance on Mott in the Twin Lakes Area on Jan. 28 and again on Feb. 5, the Statements of Facts notes. It was during the Feb. 5 surveillance that agents noted Mott’s ring-finger tattoo.
According to the Department of Justice, more than 400 people have been arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, including more than 125 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
Mott is believed to the third Arkansan charged in connection with the Capitol riot. One, Peter Stager of Conway, has been charged with assaulting law enforcement officers at the Capitol.