Proud Boy Capitol Rioter Sentenced for Sledgehammer Attack

A decision has been made to sentence Proud Boy member and a key breacher of the Capitol on January 6th to 40 months in prison for attacking police officers.

Proud Boys Capitol Rioter Sentenced

Zachary Johnson, a 34-year-old Proud Boys member from St. Petersburg, Florida, was sentenced on November 30, 2023, for his role in assaulting law enforcement officers during the U.S. Capitol breach on January 6, 2021.

Johnson’s actions, in collaboration with fellow Proud Boys, disrupted the joint session of the U.S. Congress, leading to the certification of the Electoral College vote related to the 2020 presidential election.

Johnson, part of the Tampa-area Proud Boys, played a pivotal role in breaching the Capitol grounds. He wore a ballistic plate carrier, carried protective gear, and participated in a coordinated march towards the Capitol organized by Proud Boys’ leadership.

His sentencing, at 42 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release, is a testament to the severity of the assault on law enforcement officers.

“I acted out of severe mental anguish and very genuine fear for my life,” Johnson said. “I am truly sorry and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”

Violent Actions in the Lower West Terrace Tunnel

Court documents reveal Johnson’s involvement in the Lower West Terrace Tunnel, a site of intense attacks against police on January 6th. Teaming up with other rioters, Johnson actively participated in pushing against established law enforcement lines, engaging in a coordinated “heave-ho” fashion.

This orchestrated violence led to the theft of shields from officers, exacerbating the assault on law enforcement personnel.In the Tunnel, Johnson and fellow rioters worked together to push against officers, celebrating their successes on the Lower West Terrace steps.

The court’s account highlighted how well-coordinated the attackers were, presenting challenges for law enforcement in keeping control during the Capitol breach.

After being pushed out of the Tunnel, Johnson continued his aggressive stance outside, joining rioters in another collective push against officers. Notably, he actively contributed to passing a sledgehammer and a large spray canister containing a lachrymatory agent to fellow rioters closer to the entrance.

This action further escalated the assault on officers, demonstrating a disturbing level of premeditated violence. Worrel admitted that he “deployed a whole can” of lachrymatory agent.

FBI Arrest and Legal Proceedings

FBI agents apprehended Johnson on January 13, 2022, in Florida, marking a crucial step in the investigation into the Capitol breach. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, alongside the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section, played a pivotal role in prosecuting the case.

“Once on Capitol grounds, Worrell spewed vitriol for half an hour at the overwhelmed officers restraining the mob,” according to the Justice Department, “And when he saw an opportunity to pepper spray the police line from deep within the crowd, Worrell took it,” they said.

Nationwide Ramifications of Capitol Breach

Johnson’s sentencing adds to the over 1,200 individuals charged across nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the U.S. Capitol breach. Of these, more than 400 individuals face charges of assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. 

Worrell’s attempt to evade justice included allegedly faking a drug overdose after being caught. Worrell’s defence claimed that the chaotic scenes at the Capitol on that day “could have contributed to misperceptions creating inaccuracies,” in an attempt to lower the custodial sentence.

It was also reported that Worrell had lied to the court when he claimed that he was attempting to spray his fellow rioters, a claim which the judge denied as “preposterous.”

The post Proud Boy Capitol Rioter Sentenced for Sledgehammer Attack first appeared on Edge Media.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / lev radin.

Oscar Davies, an expert in US and UK politics and sports, is renowned for his sharp and engaging writing style, appealing to a broad spectrum of readers.

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