Man Seen Crushing Officer With Shield During Capitol Siege Convicted Of 7 Felonies
A Connecticut man who was filmed using a police riot shield to violently pin and crush an officer during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol has been found guilty of seven felonies and two misdemeanors, the Department of Justice said.
Patrick Edward McCaughey III, 25, of Ridgefield was convicted Tuesday of the nine charges related to his participation in the insurrection, which was fueled by then-President Donald Trump’s election loss.
These included assaulting or aiding and abetting in assaulting law enforcement officers, obstruction of an official proceeding and interfering with law enforcement during a civil disorder.
The most serious obstruction charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, reported CBS affiliate WUSA9 in Washington.
Two other men —26-year-old Tristan Chandler Stevens of Pensacola, Florida, and 63-year-old David Mehaffie of Kettering, Ohio — were also convicted by U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden on Tuesday for their own roles in the Capitol attack, with Stevens guilty of nine offenses and MeHaffie of four.
Both men were acquitted of the most serious obstruction charge, which the judge, a 2017 Trump appointee, said prosecutors failed to prove. It was the first time that a judge has acquitted a Jan. 6 defendant of a felony at trial, WUSA reported.
All three men are set to be sentenced in January, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Upon his conviction, McCaughey was ordered to be taken into custody and held until then.
Authorities said McCaughey, Stevens and Mehaffie broke into the U.S. Capitol while rallying fellow rioters who appeared hesitant to illegally cross the building’s outer perimeter.
“Mehaffie hung from an archway and shouted direction from above, and McCaughey and Stevens were key players in the melee below,” federal prosecutors said.
A YouTube video cited by prosecutors in McCaughey’s criminal affidavit showed him taking a police riot shield and pressing it against Metropolitan Police Department Officer Daniel Hodges, who was seen pinned between two doors in a tunnel.
As he pushed against Hodges, McCaughey was heard telling the officer to “go home.” He appeared to warn Hodges that he’s “going to get squished,” according to the affidavit.
“As the officer was being pinned to the door by McCaughey, a separate rioter was violently ripping off the officer’s gas mask, exposing the officer’s bloodied mouth,” the affidavit states. “As McCaughey was using the riot shield to push against the officer, numerous other rioters behind and around McCaughey appeared to add to the weight against the officer.”
Hodges, in a later interview with CBS News, said the mob took his baton and hit him in the head with it as well.
“I definitely considered that that might be it,” he told the outlet. “I might not be able to make it out of there.”