According to his attorney, a St. Augustine man awaiting trial on charges of assaulting police on Jan. 6 at Capitol Hill has died, the court was informed on Friday morning.
John Steven Anderson, 61, died Tuesday, Sept. 21, at Baptist Hospital South in Jacksonville, Florida. His obituary was published by the St. John’s Family Funeral Home. Anderson’s attorney, Marina Medvin, confirmed his death to WUSA9 and said in an email that Anderson was a “good-hearted man.”
During a case status conference on Friday, the veteran’s attorney informed the judge in Washington about his client’s death, court records show. The cause of Anderson’s death had not been disclosed.
Anderson, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the 3/20th Special Forces Group of the Florida Army National Guard, was arrested in February in St. Augustine, Florida, and charged with eight counts in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Civil disorder, attacking police, theft of government property, and entering a restricted building or grounds were among the charges, WUSA9 reported.
In charging documents filed in D.C. District Court, the Justice Department claims that body camera footage shows Anderson using a police riot shield at the front of a group of rioters attempting to push through a line of law enforcement in the Capitol tunnel.
During the melee in the tunnel, Anderson was struck with a chemical substance discharged by a man in the crowd during the chaos and was then attacked with pepper spray by the police. Shortly after that, he began to experience respiratory problems, so officers eventually assisted Anderson in getting through the police line to receive aid.
Anderson, according to authorities, was part of a crowd that attempted to enter the Capitol through a tunnel while struggling with officers. However, his legal representation claims that he was trapped by the enraged crowd rushing into the Capitol complex and was unable to escape, per Just The News.
“John Anderson died an innocent man wrongfully accused,” said his attorney. He “never hurt of touched a single police officer. The video evidence proves this.”
Anderson is one of eight people from North Florida who were arrested and taken to federal court in Jacksonville for initial hearings in connection with the Capitol riot.