Jan. 6 rioter who used stun gun on D.C. cop pleads responsible

Washington — A California man pleaded responsible on Tuesday to utilizing a stun gun to assault a Washington, D.C., police officer who was brutally injured whereas making an attempt to defend the U.S. Capitol from the indignant mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters on Jan. 6, 2021.

Daniel Rodriguez, 40, of Fontana, admitted to collaborating within the violent assault on former Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone after one other rioter dragged the officer into the group outdoors the tunnel the place police had been making an attempt to beat again the mob. Fanone, who at one level misplaced consciousness and suffered a coronary heart assault, was heard on digital camera screaming that he has children in a determined enchantment for his life as different rioters beat him.

Rodriguez’s responsible plea comes about two weeks earlier than jury choice was supposed to start in his trial in Washington’s federal courtroom. He pleaded responsible in Washington’s federal courtroom to 4 felony prices together with conspiracy and assaulting a legislation enforcement officer with a lethal or harmful weapon.

An e mail in search of remark was despatched to his attorneys on Tuesday. He is scheduled to be sentenced in Could. Federal sentencing tips name for about seven to 10 years in jail, in response to courtroom papers.

Rodriguez admitted in an interview with FBI brokers after his arrest in March 2021 that he drove a stun gun into Fanone’s neck. Rodriguez informed brokers that he had believed that he was doing the “proper factor” on Jan. 6 and that he had been ready to die to “save the nation.” He cried as he spoke to the brokers, saying he was “silly” and ashamed by his actions.

Rodriguez’s attorneys had tried unsuccessfully to dam prosecutors from utilizing his FBI interview at trial, arguing that the brokers used “psychologically coercive techniques” to get him to speak.

Authorities say Rodriguez and others had been a part of a Telegram group chat known as “PATRIOTS 45 MAGA Gang” within the run-up to Jan. 6 wherein they advocated violence and mentioned what they considered as a stolen election. In a single publish on Dec. 29, 2020, Rodriguez wrote within the chat: “Congress can hold. I am going to do it. Please allow us to get these folks expensive God,” in response to charging papers.

On the Capitol, Rodriguez was a part of the mob that pushed into the tunnel the place officers had been making an attempt to fend off the rioters, prosecutors stated. Contained in the tunnel, one other rioter handed him the stun gun that he would later apply to the again of Fanone’s neck, in response to courtroom papers. After assaulting Fanone, Rodriguez entered the Capitol by way of a damaged window. Later, he texted his associates: “Tazzed the (expletive) out of the blue,” they stated.

Others charged with assaulting Fanone embody Albuquerque Cosper Head, who wrapped his arms round Fanone’s neck and dragged him into the group outdoors the tunnel. Head restrained Fanone whereas different rioters attacked him. Head was sentenced in October to greater than seven years in jail after pleading responsible to an assault cost.

Fanone stated at Head’s sentencing that he suffered a coronary heart assault and a traumatic mind harm and that his accidents finally value him his profession. He has written a guide about his Jan. 6 expertise and testified at a listening to held by the Home committee investigating the riot.

D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone testifies earlier than the Home Jan. 6 committee throughout its first listening to on July 27, 2021. CHIP SOMODEVILLA/POOL/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

“I keep in mind screaming out that I’ve children. I assumed perhaps I may enchantment to any individual’s humanity,” Fanone told CBS News’ “The Takeout” podcast final 12 months. That tactic labored lengthy sufficient for fellow officers to come back to his support.

One other man, Kyle Younger, who helped within the sustained assault on the officer, was sentenced in September to seven years and two months in jail. Younger grabbed the officer by the wrist whereas others yelled, “Kill him!” and “Get his gun!”

They’re among the many longest sentences which were handed down to date within the riot.

Practically 1,000 folks have been charged with federal crimes associated to the Jan. 6 riot. Greater than 500 of them have pleaded responsible, largely to misdemeanors. Roughly 400 have been sentenced, with over half getting phrases of imprisonment starting from seven days to 10 years.


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