Rioter Who Assaulted Officer Fanone Given 7+ Years


Another member of the pro-Trump mob that descended on the Capitol last year — whose teenage son was with him in the thick of the chaos — was sentenced this Tuesday afternoon. Kyle Young, an Iowa HVAC worker who participated in assaulting then-D.C. officer Michael Fanone, was sentenced to over seven years.

The sentence was 86 months, which is what prosecutors wanted. Young opted for a plea deal, admitting to a charge of assault on law enforcement. During the chaos, Young provided fellow riot participant Danny Rodriguez with a stun gun, which Rodriguez subsequently used against Fanone moments later, as they remained in the Lower West Terrace tunnel area at the Capitol. Other officers, including Daniel Hodges and Aquilino Gonell, were also attacked in this area of the Capitol grounds, where rioters engaged in so-called heave-ho motions involving swinging their bodies back and forth in an effort at breaking through police lines. Maine rioter Kyle Fitzsimons, who assaulted two other officers and Gonell, leaving the latter with a partially torn rotator cuff and labrum, was found guilty Tuesday of a series of six felony charges (and related misdemeanors).

As for Young, he also used a strobe light against police, which he was trying to use to disorient officers, and he additionally helped hurl an audio speaker at cops. (The speaker might have come from preparations for the upcoming presidential inauguration that were underway.) Besides giving Rodriguez a taser, Young also grabbed Fanone’s wrist as multiple rioters assaulted him, and prosecutors credited this action with further incapacitating the officer, who sustained serious injuries and subsequently left the police force. “Young’s restraint of Officer Fanone prevented the officer from protecting his service weapon at a time when the officer’s life was in danger,” prosecutors argued. Fanone, who like other officers continues dealing with serious impacts from the mob assault, provided a victim impact statement at Young’s sentencing on Tuesday, where the former officer said he hoped the Iowa man suffered in prison, as NBC recapped.

A supporter of the riot defendants present for the sentencing called out that Fanone was a “piece of shit,” after which point the heckler was eventually escorted from the courtroom. Young expressed remorse for his actions, although he varied in the descriptions he provided of what happened, at one point saying in a letter to the judge he “still can’t believe I let myself and my son get swept up into such terrible events.” Yet, nobody forced him to participate in the tunnel assaults, so characterizing what happened as Young getting swept up in terrible events doesn’t fully reflect reality.

In Congressional testimony, Fanone previously provided a harrowing account of his perspective of the tunnel violence: “At some point during the fighting, I was dragged from the line of officers into the crowd. I heard someone scream, “I got one!” as I was swarmed by a violent mob. They ripped off my badge. They grabbed my radio. They seized the ammunition that was secured to my body. They began to beat me, with their fists and with what felt like hard metal objects. At one point I came face to face with an attacker who repeatedly lunged for me and attempted to remove my firearm. I heard chanting from some in the crowd, “get his gun” and “Kill him with his own gun.” I was aware enough to recognize I was at risk of being stripped of, and killed with, my own firearm. I was electrocuted, again and again and again with a Taser. I’m sure I was screaming, but I don’t think I could even hear my own voice.”

Image: Brett Davis/ Creative Commons