Crime

Jan. 6 Rioter Dubbed #Tweedledumb Is From Weston

Mason Courson's Cypress Bay High yearbook photo beside the image shared by the FBI.
Mason Courson's Cypress Bay High yearbook photo beside the image shared by the FBI. Photo by Alex DeLuca/Courtesy of FBI
As a young football player at Cypress Bay High in Weston, Mason Courson tackled rivals on the field. Now the 26-year-old is accused of employing similar tactics on federal law enforcement officers as he stormed the U.S. Capitol to interrupt the counting of the electoral vote on January 6.

Last Tuesday, U.S. Marshals descended on Courson's Tamarac home and arrested him for his alleged role in the deadly attack. Notably, Courson is accused of joining the mob of rioters chanting "Heave, ho!" as they bashed their way into the Capitol, leaving D.C. Metropolitan police officer Daniel Hodges crushed and bleeding between two doors. Hodges testified that the rioters yanked off his gas mask and shouted, "You will die on your knees."

Courson is one of nine defendants listed in the November 17 federal indictment, which is embedded at the end of this story.

He faces eight federal charges, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers and inflicting bodily injury, civil disorder, and entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, according to the indictment.

Courson was denied bond and is being held at the Broward County Main Jail in downtown Fort Lauderdale. He made his initial appearance at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday morning.
Courson is one of more than 600 people — dozens of them Floridians — facing federal charges for their alleged roles in storming the Capitol to overturn the results of the 2020 election. His arrest comes as the House Select Committee continues to subpoena testimony and documents regarding the riot, during which five people were killed and more than 150 others injured.

Courson's attorney, Jason Kreiss, declined to comment for this story, telling New Times via email that he has yet to review all of the evidence against his client.

Reached by phone, Courson's mother, Angelica Courson, said, “I don't have a single comment, I’m sorry," before hanging up.

According to the federal indictment, Courson and a group of rioters stormed into the Lower West Terrace tunnel of the Capitol at approximately 3:15 p.m. on January 6. Roughly an hour later, they had reportedly assaulted an officer with a baton, flagpole, and crutch. In the months following the attack, the FBI worked to identify Courson via social media, particularly on Twitter, where they shared photos of him sporting a red Trump beanie outside the Capitol. Before his identity was confirmed, internet sleuths gave Courson and another similar-looking man who appeared alongside him in a Trump cap the nicknames #Tweedledee and #Tweedledumb.

Records show that Courson, who grew up in Weston, moved to Tamarac in the past year. He was employed by a local business, T2G Distribution.

In 2015, when Courson was 19, he was arrested by the Delray Beach Police Department (DBPD) for allegedly punching the owner of the now-shuttered Il Bacio Restaurant, shoving an off-duty officer, and later kicking a nurse at the medical center where he'd been taken. Police said Courson exhibited "superhuman strength" that resembled "someone high on Flakka [AKA bath salts]" and that he had been "punching" and "kicking" officers.

During the 2015 arrest, a police dog bit Courson in the arm. Video of the incident was widely shared, prompting death threats against Delray police, who asserted that the officer’s actions did not violate department policy.

Courson's next hearing is scheduled for December 22.


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