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A television actor and producer has been identified as the man allegedly using a crutch as a weapon during the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol.
FBI documents signed on Feb. 16 and obtained by Deadline identify Luke Coffee, 41, as the man who "used a crutch to assault police officers from the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department." The documents include numerous photos and screenshots of footage from police body cams, which allegedly show the Texas man at the head of the mob, often with a crutch above his head.
The FBI claims that Coffee "intended to further use the crutch as blunt object weapon by positioning the crutch directly toward the officer's upper chest/head area,” before officers restrained him.
The FBI Washington Field Office had released wanted posters of multiple suspects from the Jan. 6 incident, asking the public for help identifying culprits. One of the many individuals they were looking to identify was the crutch-wielding man, who was sporting a brown cowboy hat and a camouflage jacket.
The FBI documents reveal that associates of Coffee, including a former college classmate who is now an FBI special agent, recognized him and turned him in.
Coffee surrendered to authorities in Dallas on Thursday. He has been charged with assault of a federal law enforcement officer with a dangerous weapon, interference with law enforcement officer during civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and two counts of unlawful entry on restricted grounds.
The Texas resident spent much of his life working in television. His most recent acting role was playing David Koresh in 2017 for the TV series “Murder Made Me Famous” according to his IMDB page. Koresh was the leader of a religious group known as the Branch Davidians, many of whom — including Koresh —perished during the 1993 Waco siege. Coffee also had small roles in television shows such as “Chase” and “Friday Night Lights.” His most recent producer credit is for an unfinished documentary-style project entitled “Texas Angel.” That movie appears to be autobiographical in nature and focused on how a drunk driving incident in which Coffee and a girlfriend were struck, resulting in her death, impacted Coffee’s Christian faith.
It’s not clear if Coffee has an attorney. According to the FBI paperwork, Coffee allegedly admitted to being at the riots with a crutch but denied getting into any “type of physical confrontations with the police while at the Capitol Building."
He allegedly went into hiding at a luxury resort, Texas Monthly reports. Weeks before he surrendered he allegedly told the outlet that “if the FBI wants me I’m sure they can easily find me.” He also said that he felt as though he was "in the middle of a storm" during the riots, adding “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
To date, more than 200 people have had charges filed against them in relation to the chaotic incident, which left five people dead.
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