Three more people plead guilty in connection to Jan. 6 riot
Three men pleaded guilty Friday to assaulting law enforcement officers during the Jan. 6 rioting at the U.S. Capitol last year, including a military veteran and another man who swung metal poles at police.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a release that 56-year-old Mark Ponder, of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty to a felony charge of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon.
At his sentencing date on July 18, Ponder faces up to 20 years and a $250,000 fine for swinging metal poles at officers and injuring one.
The DOJ says Ponder swung at three police officers during the rioting on January 6, when a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to overturn the 2020 election.
Around 2:31 p.m., Ponder ran out from a crowd surging toward a police line at the West Plaza with a long, thin pole, police said. He struck a Capitol Police officer’s riot shield, splintering his pole in half, and retreated back into the crowd, according to the DOJ.
He later returned with another pole that was decorated in the colors of the American flag, the DOJ said. He swung at two more officers, injuring one in the left shoulder.
Ponder was arrested on March 17.
Two New York men also pleaded guilty Friday to assaulting and spraying officers with a chemical irritant during the rioting, according to the DOJ. At a July 15 sentencing hearing, they face a maximum of eight years in prison for the charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers.
Cody Mattice, 29, and James Mault, 30, were also among the mob that pushed toward a line of police officers near the West Plaza.
Mault is a military veteran who reenlisted in the Army months after he was interviewed by the FBI for his role in the rioting.
Ahead of January 6, Mault and Mattice prepared for the rioting when they purchased a baton and pepper spray, according to the DOJ documents.
Around 2 p.m., both men had arrived at the Capitol and were surprised by the amount of people there. Mault told police that “what we’re doing is right, or there wouldn’t be so many f—— people here,” according to court documents.
Around 2:30 p.m., Mattice pulled down barricades, letting the mob through and forcing the police line to retreat toward the lower west terrace, the DOJ said. Both Mattice and Mault pushed back against the police line violently.
Around 4 p.m., Mattice and Mault sprayed officers with a chemical irritant in a tunnel leading into the Capitol.
Both men were arrested on Oct. 7 — Mault in Fort Bragg, N.C., where he had been stationed with the Army, and Mattice in New York.
More than 800 defendants have been arrested in connection to the January 6 rioting, and more than 250 have been charged with assaulting police officers.
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