A Pennsylvania man who beat a Washington, D.C., police officer with a Trump flag throughout the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack was sentenced Friday to 46 months in prison, federal officials said.
Howard Richardson, 72, pleaded guilty earlier this yr to assaulting, resisting or impeding officers on the Capitol, in accordance with the Department of Justice.
Richardson waved a flag emblazoned with Trump’s name when he breached a restricted area of the Capitol, then he used the pole to strike a police officer several times, officials said.
“He raised it and forcefully swung it downward to strike an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department who was standing behind a metal barricade,” in accordance with a Justice Department statement. “Richardson then struck the officer two more times, using enough force to interrupt the flagpole.”
After that, Richardson then pushed a “large metal sign right into a line of law enforcement officers” together with other rioters, officials said.
Richardson told the FBI he was “pissed off” concerning the 2020 presidential election and offended about alleged voter fraud, NBC News reported.
“This can be a serious offense,” Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said when she sentenced Richardson. She said a video of the clash made it clear that Richardson was “very offended” when he swung his flagpole with the Trump flag at an officer.
“The intent must be to injure the officer, there’s no other reason to do it,” she added, in accordance with NBC. “It was an rebel, it was not a protest, and definitely not a peaceful one.”
Richardson was arrested in November 2021 and pleaded guilty in April.
After he serves his nearly four-year prison sentence, Richardson will even be subject to a few years of supervised release. He must also pay $2,000 in restitution.
The sentence is one among the longest handed down out up to now within the Jan. 6 rebel.
Earlier this month, Thomas Robertson, an off-duty Virginia police officer who stormed the Capitol with a fellow officer, was sentenced to greater than seven years in prison, matching the longest prison sentence up to now amongst lots of of Capitol riot cases.
But Justice Department officials are in search of the longest prison sentence yet against a Jan. 6 rioter, 17 years, for ex-police officer and former Marine Thomas Webster, who was found guilty in May of 5 felonies and a misdemeanor for his participation within the Capitol siege, including assaulting, resisting or impeding an officer using a deadly or dangerous weapon, and fascinating in an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds.
The sentence could be nearly double the longest prison sentence handed down by a court in a Jan. 6 case thus far, CBS News reported.
Webster’s sentencing is scheduled for next Friday.
Greater than 860 people have been arrested since Jan. 6 in reference to the attack, in accordance with the Justice Department. Greater than 260 of them have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.