Iced Earth Guitarist Charged For Allegedly Using Bear Spray on Capitol Police

Chris Harris
·3 min read

Gonzales Photo/Terje Dokken/PYMCA/Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Jon Schaffer

The guitarist for heavy metal outfit Iced Earth is in federal custody on six criminal charges stemming from his alleged participation in the recent riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Jon Schaffer, 52, turned himself over to the FBI in Indianapolis on Sunday, after learning he was wanted by federal authorities.

In a statement, the FBI confirms that Schaffer, who helped found Iced Earth in Florida back in 1985, is in custody, following his arrest "in connection to [the] Jan. 6 incident at the U.S. Capitol."

According to the FBI, Schaffer "faces 6 charges, including engaging in an act of physical violence in a Capitol building."

The FBI claims that "Schaffer was allegedly among rioters who sprayed Capitol police with 'bear spray.'"

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Bear spray is a non-lethal, aerosol deterrent designed to stop aggressive behavior in wild bears.

Not long after the insurrection, fans of Iced Earth, which is now based out of Indiana, recognized Schaffer in photos released by federal investigators in the days following the siege, led by pro-Trump rioters.

On Monday, PEOPLE was unable to reach a rep for Schaffer for comment.

It was unclear if Schaffer had appeared before a judge to enter pleas to the charges against him. His lawyer was unavailable at press time.

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Schaffer is also a member of power metal supergroup Demons and Wizards, and had a solo project called Sons of Liberty.

Iced Earth experienced considerable success during the 1990s, and have released concept albums that have dealt with history and dystopian influences.

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At the time of his arrest, the band had been working on material for the follow-up to their last album, Incorruptible, which was released in 2017.

The band has yet to comment on Schaffer's arrest.

Stu Block, the band's frontman, released a statement last week, via his personal Instagram account, saying, "Some of you have been concerned by our silence, which we understand. We needed some time to properly process the information and find out some facts before we made a statement. First and foremost, we absolutely DO NOT condone nor do we support riots or the acts of violence that the rioters were involved in on January 6th at the US Capitol building."

The statement added that the band hopes "that all those involved that day are brought to justice."

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Dozens of people have been arrested in the wake of the violence at the Capitol which claimed the lives of five people, including police officer Brian D. Sicknick.

The Trump-supporting mob, incited by the President's baseless claims that the election had been stolen from him, breached the building while lawmakers gathered to count the Electoral College votes certifying President-elect Joe Biden's win.