Virginia man sentenced to 4 years in prison for assaulting police during Capitol riot

Protesters gather on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Virginia man was sentenced to 52 months in prison Tuesday after striking officers during the U.S. Capitol riot, the Department of Justice announced.

Driving the news: Geoffrey William Sills, 31, of Mechanicsville was found guilty following a bench trial in August 2022 of obstruction of an official proceeding; assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon; and robbery.

Zoom in: During the insurrection, Sills partook in violence in the tunnel area leading to the entrance of the Capitol, according to court documents.

  • Wearing black goggles and a black gas mask, prosecutors said he joined a line of rioters that pushed police officers back.
  • Sills threw several "pole-like objects" at officers as they retreated, while filming the events and posting them to social media, per the DOJ.
  • Prosecutors said he also wrested away a police baton from an officer and pointed a flashing strobe light at the police line, disorienting officers.
  • Sills struck at several officers with the baton, hitting at least two of them, per the department.

Background: Sills was arrested and charged in June 2021, and has been behind bars since then.

  • He was indicted with eight other defendants, five of whom have been convicted and three of whom are awaiting trial, per the DOJ.

What's next: Sills was also ordered to pay $2,000 restitution and serve 36 months of supervised release.

The big picture: Some 1,000 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, per the DOJ.

  • These include over 320 people who were charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

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