A Florida man who partook in the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced this Tuesday to 60 months in prison, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
Tristan Chandler Stevens, 27, of Pensacola, Florida, was charged with four counts of assaulting or aiding and abetting in assaulting law enforcement officers, one count of interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder, all felonies, and four misdemeanor charges: disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building; and committing an act of violence in the Capitol Building or grounds, the DOJ’s press release stated.
From the DOJ:
According to the government’s evidence, on Jan. 6, 2021, Stevens traveled to Washington, D.C. and illegally made his way on to the restricted grounds of the U.S. Capitol. Stevens taunted officers at the West Front. He and two co-defendants ultimately broke through the police line after approximately 2:30 p.m., when the line on the West Front failed under the siege of the advancing mob. Each of the defendants scaled the Southwest scaffolding and staircase, to converge together at the tunnel created by the inaugural platform structure on the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol Building.
At the Lower West Terrace, officers of the U.S. Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department guarded the entrance door to the Capitol from the mob for several hours. Between 2:41 p.m. and 3:19 p.m., Stevens and his co-defendants attempted to break into the building by directing other rioters, participating in heave-ho pushes against the police line, using riot shields stolen from the Capitol Police, and assaulting numerous officers. Stevens was a key player in the melee. Even after officers finally cleared the tunnel area, Stevens illegally remained on Capitol grounds.
Stevens was one of the main figures in a group of rioters that tried to overpower police who were guarding the entrance to the Lower West Terrace Tunnel and force their way into the Capitol building, according to federal prosecutors.
“He used his body as he physically pushed in coordination with other rioters in an attempt to create a collective force that would overcome the resistance of the outnumbered officers,” a sentencing memorandum from the U.S. Attorney’s Office states.
“He used his hands and his voice as he counted down so that the rioters could push in unison after he realized that uncoordinated efforts were bound to be unsuccessful. He used a stolen police shield when he realized he needed a bigger surface area to pin officers during the battle in attempt to break through them. And he attempted to grab a baton from an officer after he realized that his body weight and the force of the shield were not enough to break through the police line.”