Two Florida Men Sentenced to Prison in Capitol Attack

One hit officers with a flagpole, prosecutors say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 17, 2023 5:35 PM CDT
Two Florida Men Sentenced to Prison in Capitol Attack
This image from video from a police-worn body camera of the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol was played in a hearing of the House select committee investigating the attack.   (House Select Committee via AP)

Two Florida men have been sentenced on felony charges related to storming the US Capitol during the January 2021 insurrection. Michael Steven Perkins, 40, of Plant City, was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison in DC federal court, according to court records, the AP reports. Joshua Christopher Doolin, 25, of Lakeland, received one year, six months on Wednesday. Both were convicted earlier this year of felony civil disorder, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds. Doolin was also convicted of theft of government property. Perkins was separately convicted of assaulting a federal officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon and engaging in acts of physical violence while on the restricted Capitol grounds.

Doolin and Perkins were arrested on June 30, 2021, along with co-defendants Joseph Hutchinson and Olivia Pollock, officials said. A federal judge issued bench warrants for Hutchinson and Pollock in March after the FBI reported that they had tampered with or removed their ankle monitors and disappeared. A fifth co-defendant, Jonathan Pollock, has not been apprehended, and the FBI is offering a reward of up to $30,000 in exchange for information leading to his arrest and conviction. Five people died in the violence after a mob attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden's election victory over Republican Trump.

According to evidence and testimony presented at trial, Doolin and Perkins were on the west side of the Capitol on Jan. 6. Hutchinson, pushed from behind by Perkins, charged a line of police officers in an effort to break through the line, prosecutors said. As officers descended into the crowd to help another officer, Perkins picked up a flagpole and thrust it into the chest of an approaching officer, authorities said. Perkins then raised the flagpole over his head swung it down, striking two officers in the back of their heads, officials said.

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Doolin and Perkins then advanced closer to the Capitol building, where Doolin acquired a Metropolitan Police Department crowd-control spray canister and a US Capitol Police riot shield, prosecutors said. Doolin eventually relocated to a Capitol building entrance passageway, where he used the stolen riot shield to join the rioters pushing against the police officers inside the passageway in an effort to break through and enter the Capitol, officials said. Since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,100 people have been arrested for crimes related to the breach of the Capitol, officials said. More than 350 people have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. (Read more Capitol riot stories.)

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