One of the men charged with the brutal assault of a Washington, DC police officer, who was seen being run over by rioting crowds at the US Capitol on January 6, has been sentenced to years behind bars.
Patrick E. McCaughey III, 25, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, was sentenced to 90 months in prison for nine offenses, the Justice Department said in a news release Friday.
“McCaughey was found guilty of seven counts: three counts of aiding or abetting or assaulting, resisting or obstructing law enforcement officers, one of which involved a dangerous weapon; one count of obstruction of official process; a count of interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disturbance; one count of disorderly and disruptive conduct in a building or restricted area with a deadly or dangerous weapon, and one count of physical violence in a building or restricted area with a deadly or dangerous weapon,” the press release reads.
He was also convicted of two offenses of disorderly conduct.
Prosecutors say McCaughey and his co-defendants Tristan Chandler Stevens and David Mehaffie traveled from their home in Washington, D.C., to support then-President Donald Trump, who spent months falsely claiming that the 2020 presidential election was marred by fraud. As Congress began to certify Joe Biden’s election victory, pro-Trump rioters broke into the Capitol building, forcing lawmakers to flee the building or shelter in place for hours.
McCaughey, Stevens and Mehaffie “finally crossed the police line after about 2:30 p.m. when the line on the western front failed under the siege of the advancing crowd,” the DOJ said. They climbed the scaffolding and staircase in the southwest part of the Capitol and converged on the lower west terrace tunnel, guarded by U.S. Capitol Police officers and officers from the Metropolitan Police Department.
“Between 2:41 p.m. and 3:19 p.m., the three defendants attempted to enter the building by leading other rioters, participating in uprisings against the police line, using riot shields stolen from the Capitol police and assaulting three specific officers. said the GM. “Mehaffie clung to an arch and shouted direction from above, and McCaughey and Stevens were key players in the melee below. McCaughey grabbed a riot shield and used it as a weapon.
Specifically, McCaughey used this stolen riot shield as a weapon against MPD officer Daniel Hodges, whose struggle with rioters crushing him into a doorway became one of the most memorable images to emerge from the riot.
“McCaughey went to the front of the crowd, where he came face to face with MPD officer Daniel Hodges,” the government said in its sentencing memorandum. “McCaughey used his riot shield to smash Officer Hodges into the metal door frame, while yelling at the officer to ‘go home’.”
Hodges had testified at trial that he feared losing consciousness. At one point, rioters had ripped Hodges’ gas mask from his face and stolen his baton, using it to hit themselves on the head.
McCaughey, Stevens and Mehaffie were sentenced in September 2022 after a trial before U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee and the first judge to enter misdemeanor acquittals in the Jan. 6 prosecution. Stevens and Mehaffie are awaiting sentencing.
McCaughey’s sentence is about half of the 15 years required by prosecutors. He had pleaded for a one-year sentence. McFadden ordered him to serve three years of probation and pay $2,000 in restitution for estimated $2.9 million in damages and losses to the Capitol resulting from the riot.
During the sentencing hearing, McFadden told McCaughey he believed he lied on the stand, according to a report by local CBS affiliate WUSA.
“Your actions on January 6, and in particular your attack on Officer Hodges, made you a poster boy for all that was dangerous and appalling that day,” McFadden was quoted as saying.
McCaughey was convicted of three separate counts of assaulting, resisting or obstructing police, including an enhanced felony charge of using a deadly or dangerous weapon. He was the only defendant not yet in pretrial custody to whom McFadden “backed down” — or immediately ordered his custody — after his conviction. While delivering his verdict, McFadden detailed the harrowing moment McCaughey used a riot shield and the force of the crowd behind him to pin Hodges in a door frame as he screamed for help.
McFadden had granted permission for McCaughey not to be detained prior to sentencing, but would have ordered him remanded in custody immediately.
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