A Florida person described by prosecutors as 1 of the most violent rioters who attacked the U.S. Capitol was sentenced on Wednesday to 5 years in prison, courtroom information clearly show.
Kenneth Bonawitz, a member of the significantly-proper Happy Boys extremist group’s Miami chapter, assaulted at the very least 6 law enforcement officers as he stormed the Capitol with a mob of Donald Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021. He grabbed just one of the officers in a chokehold and injured a further so severely that the officer experienced to retire, in accordance to federal prosecutors.
Bonawitz, 58, of Pompano Beach front, Florida, carried an eight-inch knife in a sheath on his hip. Police seized the knife from him in in between his barrage of assaults on officers.
“His violent, and recurring, assaults on various officers are among the worst assaults that happened that working day,” Assistant U.S. Legal professional Sean McCauley wrote in a court submitting.
U.S. District Judge Jia Cobb sentenced Bonawitz to a 5-year term of imprisonment adopted by 3 decades of supervised launch, in accordance to court docket information.
The Justice Division suggested a prison sentence of five a long time and 11 months for Bonawitz, who was arrested very last January. He pleaded guilty in August to 3 felonies — one particular count of civil dysfunction and two counts of assaulting police.
Bonawitz took an overnight bus to Washington, D.C., chartered for Trump supporters to attend his “Stop the Steal” rally close to the White Residence on Jan. 6.
Bonawitz was one of the initial rioters to enter the Upper West Plaza as soon as the crowd overran a law enforcement line on the north aspect. He jumped off a stage constructed for President Joe Biden’s inauguration and tackled two Capitol law enforcement officers. 1 of them, Sgt. Federico Ruiz, endured severe injuries to his neck, shoulder, knees and back again.
“I assumed there was a solid probability I could die right there,” Ruiz wrote in a letter addressed to the decide.
Ruiz, who retired final thirty day period, said the accidents inflicted by Bonawitz prematurely finished his regulation-enforcement job.
“Bonawitz has provided me a lifetime sentence of actual physical discomfort and distress, bodily injury and psychological insecurity as a immediate end result of his assault on me,” he wrote.
Immediately after law enforcement confiscated his knife and released him, Bonawitz assaulted four a lot more officers in the span of 7 seconds. He placed just one of the officers in a headlock and lifted her off the ground, choking her.
“Bonawitz’s attacks did not end until eventually (police) officers pushed him back into the crowd for a 2nd time and deployed chemical agent to his confront,” the prosecutor wrote.
Extra than 100 law enforcement officers were being injured throughout the siege. Above 1,200 defendants have been billed with Capitol riot-associated federal crimes. About 900 have pleaded guilty or been convicted soon after trials. In excess of 750 have been sentenced, with practically 500 acquiring a expression of imprisonment, in accordance to facts compiled by The Involved Push.
Dozens of Proud Boys leaders, members and associates have been arrested on Jan. 6 costs. A jury convicted former Proud Boys countrywide chairman Enrique Tarrio and three lieutenants of seditious conspiracy costs for a unsuccessful plot to forcibly stop the tranquil transfer of presidential ability from Trump to Biden soon after the 2020 election.
Bonawitz isn’t really accused of coordinating his steps on Jan. 6 with other Proud Boys. But he “entirely embraced and embodied their anti-federal government, extremist ideology when he assaulted six regulation enforcement officers who stood between a mob and the democratic approach,” the prosecutor wrote.
Bonawitz’s lawyers didn’t publicly file a sentencing memo just before Wednesday’s hearing. 1 of his attorneys failed to quickly react to emails and a cell phone contact in search of comment.