One of the men accused in the brutal assault of a Washington, D.C. police officer who was seen being crushed by the riotous mob at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 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 announced in a press release Friday.
“McCaughey was convicted of seven felony charges: three counts of aiding or abetting or assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers, including one involving a dangerous weapon; one count of obstruction of an official proceeding; one count of interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder; one count of disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, and one count of engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon,” the press release said.
He was also convicted of two disorderly conduct misdemeanors.
According to prosecutors, McCaughey and his co-defendants Tristan Chandler Stevens and David Mehaffie had traveled from their homes to Washington, D.C., to support then-President Donald Trump, who had spent months falsely stating that the 2020 presidential election was tainted by fraud. As Congress had begun to certify Joe Biden’s electoral win, pro-Trump rioters broke into the Capitol building, forcing lawmakers to either flee the building or shelter in place for hours.
McCaughey, Stevens, and Mehaffie “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,” the DOJ said. They scaled the scaffolding and staircase on the southwest part of the Capitol and converged at the tunnel on the Lower West Terrace, 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 break into the building by directing other rioters, participating in heave-hos against the police line, using riot shields stolen from the Capitol Police, and assaulting three specific officers,” the DOJ said. “Mehaffie hung from an archway 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 that stolen riot shield as a weapon against MPD Officer Daniel Hodges, whose struggle against rioters crushing him in a door has become one of the most memorable images to emerge from the riot.
“McCaughey made his way to the front of the mob, where he came face to face with MPD Officer Daniel Hodges,” the government said in its sentencing memorandum. “McCaughey used his riot shield to crush Officer Hodges into the metal doorframe, while yelling at the officer to ‘go home.””
Hodges had testified at trial that he was worried he would lose consciousness. At one point, rioters had ripped Hodges’ gas mask from his face and stole his baton, using it to strike his head.
McCaughey, Stevens, and Mehaffie were convicted in September 2022 after a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden, a Trump appointee and the first judge to issue acquittals for misdemeanors in the Jan. 6 prosecutions. Stevens and Mehaffie are awaiting sentencing.
McCaughey’s sentence is about half the 15 years requested by prosecutors. He had argued for a sentence of one year. McFadden ordered him to serve three years of supervised release and pay $2,000 in restitution toward the estimated $2.9 million in damage and loss to the Capitol resulting from the riot.
At the sentencing hearing, McFadden told McCaughey that he believed he had lied on the stand, according to a report from local CBS affiliate WUSA.
“Your actions on Jan. 6, and in particular your attack on Officer Hodges, made you a poster child for all that was dangerous and appalling about that day,” McFadden reportedly said.
McCaughey was convicted of three separate counts of assaulting, resisting or impeding police, including an enhanced felony charge for using a deadly or dangerous weapon. He was the only defendant not already in pre-trial detention who McFadden “stepped back” – or ordered immediately into custody – following his conviction. While delivering his verdict, McFadden described in detail the harrowing moment when McCaughey used a riot shield and the force of the mob behind him to pin Hodges in a doorframe while he screamed for help.
McFadden had allowed McCaughey to stay out of custody before sentencing but reportedly ordered him to be remanded immediately.
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Patrick McCaughey sentenced for Jan. 6 Daniel Hodges assault
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