Former U.S. Attorney for North Alabama discusses arrest of Falkville man during U.S. Capitol riots

Records say this is the home of Lonnie Coffman in Falkville

A Falkville man was arrested during the riots in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

Posted: Jan 7, 2021 11:38 AM
Updated: Jan 7, 2021 5:19 PM

WAAY 31 worked to learn more about Lonnie Coffman, the Falkville man who was arrested during the riots in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

Coffman is charged with carrying a pistol without a license, unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition.

People in the community said they were shocked to hear someone from this area was arrested in D.C.

WAAY 31 went by Coffman's home on Thursday. He lives about four miles from Falkville Town Hall, close to the Morgan and Cullman County Line. The driveway of the home is blocked with logs and a sign that indicated it was private property and no trespassing. The last name, Coffman, was also painted on the mailbox.

Neighbors who didn't want to talk on camera said Coffman moved to the area about a year ago, but he kept to himself and they didn't know him.

Coffman's family members said they were aware of his arrest, but didn't want to talk about it. His ex-wife told WAAY 31, "I don't have anything to say," about his arrest, but later told us, "Yes, he voted for Trump."

The New York Times has reported that a 70-year-old man from Alabama was arrested by federal agents in possession of a firearm and materials to make several Molotov cocktails. Coffman is 70 years old.

WAAY 31 has asked the spokeswoman for Capitol police for his mugshot, but we have not received it yet.

Former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District, Jay Town, said people involved in the violence in D.C. could face charges back in their home states.

"If you traveled in interstate commerce, crossed state lines, in order to commit a crime in Washington D.C., you could be prosecuted here in Alabama in federal court or in Washington D.C. in federal court for the same type of federal charges," he said.

Town went on to say, "Nothing that I saw at the nation's Capitol, the Capitol building, was patriotic. Nothing. That is not what this country is about, committing crimes, damaging federal property, violence, none of that is what this republic is about."

He said anyone facing federal charges for the riots in D.C., if convicted, will have to serve their sentence day for day and won't get parole.

He said what happened in D.C. is the latest string of unacceptable behavior we have seen in the past few years in our country, and one word comes to mind when he thinks about yesterday.

"The word 'repugnant' continues to just come to mind. We saw during the Justice Kavanaugh hearings they stormed the Hart Building, and there is nothing acceptable about that either. There is nothing acceptable about the looting and the arson and the damage to property, federal and otherwise, that we saw this summer. Lawlessness just can't be the way that we engage in discourse in this country," he said.

Town also told WAAY 31 that the, "reports are that sixty or more law enforcement officers were injured yesterday, which certainly is not the hallmark of patriotic behavior."

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