Former Police Officer Sentenced to Prison for Assaulting Officers During Capitol Riot

Credits: The Hill

Former sheriff’s deputy Ronald Colton McAbee was sentenced to 70 months in prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. McAbee, who traveled to Washington from Tennessee, was involved in violent clashes with Capitol Police officers at the Lower West Terrace.

He was charged with dragging a police officer, Metropolitan Police Officer Andrew Wayte, into the mob by his head, pinning him to the ground, and contributing to the assault that left Wayte with serious injuries.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras, who sentenced McAbee, emphasized the seriousness of attacks on law enforcement, particularly considering McAbee’s background in law enforcement. Contreras noted that McAbee’s actions were unexpected, given his previous career.

Former Police Officer (Credits:

McAbee was one of seven defendants charged in connection with attacks on police officers at the Lower West Terrace. Prosecutors described how McAbee joined other rioters in assaulting officers, including pulling Officer Wayte into the crowd “like a violent game of tug of war.”

Wayte testified about his injuries, which included a cut to his head, a concussion, and other injuries that kept him from returning to full duty until July 2021.

In his statement to the court, McAbee apologized to Wayte, saying he was only trying to help. He tried to justify his actions by explaining that his training kicked in when he saw an officer down, but he acknowledged that he must be held accountable for his actions.

McAbee pleaded guilty to two counts and was convicted at trial on five additional charges. His attorney argued for a sentence below the 151 months requested by prosecutors, citing McAbee’s attempt to assist Rosanne Boyland, another rioter who died during the attack, as an example of his usual character.

Contreras credited McAbee for his efforts to assist Boyland but noted that his actions in assaulting officers prevented him from helping injured individuals more effectively.

McAbee’s sentencing highlights the legal consequences faced by individuals involved in the Jan. 6 attack, particularly those who engaged in violence against law enforcement officers.

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