January 6

Capitol rioter pleads guilty to assaulting police — faces up to 20 years in prison

According to a press release from the Department of Justice, a Florida man pleaded guilty this Monday to assaulting police during the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. “His and others’ actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election,” the press release states.

Mitchell Todd Gardner II, 34, of Seffner, Florida, pleaded guilty in a D.C. court to felony charges of civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon.

From the DOJ:

Gardner was part of a mob just outside the Lower West Terrace Tunnel from approximately 3:45 p.m. until at least 4:05 p.m., During that time, he shouted, among other things, “drag them out,” and “pull the cops out.” Gardner used a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Oleoresin Capsicum device against officers within the tunnel area. The contents hit one officer directly in the face shield and splattered onto two additional officers. This caused the officers to cough for an extended period and also burned their eyes. Gardner also urged other rioters to use a ladder to break into a window. When the ladder was not used, Gardner stood on a window ledge outside of a Senate Terrace Room and damaged the window with the Oleoresin Capsicum device. The cost to replace that window exceeded $2,900. Gardner ultimately entered the Senate Terrace Room. While inside the Capitol, he waved other rioters to come closer or into the building. He also handed another rioter what looked to be a table/desk leg; that object was used to assault police officers.

After Gardner exited the Capitol, he remained on the Lower West Terrace from at least 4:45 p.m. to approximately 4:58 p.m. He encouraged the mob and even cheered at 4:55 p.m. when one rioter threw a fire extinguisher into the tunnel at police officers.

Gardner’s sentencing will take place on Oct. 21, 2022 and he faces a statutory maximum of five years in prison on the civil disorder charge, and up to 20 years on the obstruction charge, and up to 20 years on the charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon.

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