Skip to contents
Crime and Courts

Telluride man accused of assaulting police during Jan. 6 riot

The 68-year-old suspect is accused of punching a Metropolitan Police officer in the face. He was arrested on Saturday near the ski resort town.

Avery MacCracken, above in surveillance video taken during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, is also seen right at a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Montrose, Colorado, on June 6, 2020. (William Woody, Special to the Colorado Sun)

By Colleen Slevin, The Associated Press

A man from Colorado and another from Florida who are accused of assaulting police officers in separate incidents during the Jan. 6. riot at the U.S. Capitol were being held in federal custody Wednesday.

Mason Joel Courson, 26, of Tamarac, Florida, was arrested Tuesday in Florida and appeared in federal court Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said. Courson is accused of being part of a group that was armed with a baton, flagpole and a crutch that assaulted a Metropolitan Police officer, the office said. Earlier in the day, he allegedly participated in “heave-ho” efforts to get into the Capitol, the office said.

TODAY’S UNDERWRITER

Courson’s lawyer, Jason Kreiss, said he could not comment on the allegations because he has not seen the evidence in the case yet.

Meanwhile, Avery Carter MacCracken, 68, of Telluride, who is accused of punching a Metropolitan Police officer in the face, remained detained following his arrest on Saturday near the ski resort town. He was identified as a suspect being sought by the FBI in the riot by a resident and authorities there.

According to court documents released Tuesday, the officer was part of a line of officers protecting the state Capitol. MacCracken is also accused of pushing and shoving a second officer in the line.

Avery MacCracken, above, in officer-worn body cam video taken during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, is also seen below at a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Montrose on June 6, 2020. (William Woody, Special to the Colorado Sun)

Authorities in Telluride told investigators that MacCracken has been a resident for years, sometimes living out of his car, according to his arrest affidavit. San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters and town Chief Marshal Josh Comte reported seeing MacCracken in Telluride wearing the same clothes shown in images from the Capitol, according to the affidavit.

MacCracken, who is one of a number of Coloradans arrested for participating the riot last year, appeared in federal court in Grand Junction Tuesday.

He will continue to be detained at least until another hearing scheduled for Friday. He is represented by a lawyer from the Denver federal public defender’s office, which does not comment on cases.

Meanwhile, two men who allegedly assaulted officers, Donald Hazard, 43, of Hurst, Texas, and Lucas Denney, 44, of Mansfield, Texas, during the riot were arrested Monday.

Footage shows Hazard grappling with U.S. Capitol Police officers, falling down a set of stairs under scaffolding on the west side of the Capitol and fighting with one officer as they were both falling, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Denney is accused of grabbing and shoving a police officer and attempting to grab a canister of crowd-control spray from another officer before swinging a long metal pole at him, the office said. Denney is also accused of a participating in “heave-ho” efforts to advance into the building while carrying what appeared to be a baton or stick in the same location and around the same time as Courson is accused of doing, according to prosecutors.

A telephone message and an email sent to Hazard’s lawyer was not immediately returned. No lawyer was listed as representing Denney in court records