Patrick McCaughey III, who used a stolen riot shield to crush a police officer in a doorframe during the U.S. Capitol insurrection, was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison for his role in one of Jan. 6, 2021's most violent episodes. Federal prosecutors recommended a prison sentence of 15 years and eight months, which would have been the longest for a Capitol riot case by more than five years, reports the Associated Press. U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden described McCaughey, 25, as a “poster child of all that was dangerous and appalling about” the Jan. 6, 2021, riot. “Your actions are some of the most egregious crimes that were committed on that dark day,” the judge said. McCaughey, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, expressed shame for joining the mob of President Trump’s supporters who “violated” the Capitol.
“I’m sorry that I conducted myself less like a citizen and more like an animal that day,” he said. McCaughey’s sentence matches the second longest term so far for a Capitol riot defendant. It’s the same as the sentence another judge imposed on Albuquerque Cosper Head, a Tennessee man who dragged Washington, D.C., police officer Michael Fanone into a crowd of rioters. Nine people, including McCaughey, were charged together with joining one of the most brutal clashes at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Police and rioters were fighting for control of a tunnel entrance when D.C. officer Daniel Hodges came face to face with McCaughey, who used a stolen riot shield to pin Hodges to a metal doorframe. “Go home!” McCaughey shouted at the officer. Hodges screamed out for help when another rioter grabbed the officer’s baton and struck him in the face with it.