Kentucky man Peter Schwartz sentenced to 14 years in prison for January 6 assault

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A Kentucky man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for attacking police officers with pepper spray as he stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 – setting a new record for the longest sentence served in connection with the riot.

Peter Schwartz, a 49-year-old welder, was sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence on Friday after being convicted of assault and other offenses in December.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, who delivered the verdict, berated Schwartz as a “soldier against democracy” who was involved in “a type of chaos and chaos unprecedented in the country’s history.”

“You are not a political prisoner,” the judge told him. “You are not one to stand up against injustice or fight against an autocratic regime.”

Mehta previously served the longest prison sentence to date when he sentenced retired NYPD police officer Thomas Webster to 10 years on Jan. 6 for assaulting an officer with a metal flagpole.

Schwartz, with a group of rioters and his ex-wife, Shelly Stallings, weaved his way through a line of police officers on the Capitol’s Lower West Terrace. He threw a folding chair at one of the police officers, prosecutors said.

“By throwing that chair, Schwartz directly contributed to the fall of the police line that allowed rioters to pour forward and take over the entire patio,” prosecutor Jocelyn Bond wrote in a court filing.

He was armed with a wooden tire beater and a police-issued “Super Soaker” canister of pepper spray, which he sprayed at the retreating officers.

“Although the jet of liquid did not hit any officers directly, it increased the danger to officers in this tunnel,” Bond wrote.


Schwartz was found guilty of assaulting a police officer during the January 6 riots on Capitol Hill in 2021.
AP

Before leaving, Schwartz also joined a “heave ho” push against police in the tunnel.

Stallings pleaded guilty to riot-related charges last year and was sentenced to two years in prison last month.

Schwartz was convicted of assault and other felonies in December.

Prosecutors had recommended a prison sentence of 24 years and 6 months for Schwartz.

Schwartz’s defense attorneys were asking for a sentence of between four and six years and alleging their client was motivated by a “misunderstanding” about the 2020 election, fueled by Donald Trump’s repeated lies that the election was rigged against him.

“There are still many scammers out there who can continue to spread the ‘big lie’ that Trump won the election, with Donald Trump being one of the most prominent. Mr. Schwartz is not one of those people; he knows he was wrong,” his defense attorneys wrote.

Schwartz boasted about storming the Capitol and claimed his charges were politically motivated, prosecutors said.


Supporters loyal to President Donald Trump clash with authorities before successfully breaching the Capitol
Over 100 police officers were injured in the riots.
AP

He described the uprising as “the opening of a war” in a Facebook post the day after the uprising.

“I was there and whether people recognize it or not, we are at war now,” Schwartz wrote.

Schwartz has raised over $71,000 from an online fundraiser called Patriot Pete Political Prisoner in DC.

Prosecutors asked Mehta to order Schwartz to pay a fine equal to the amount collected by his campaign, arguing that he should not benefit from taking part in the riots.

At the time of the riot, Schwartz was on probation. He has had a “staggering” 38 prior convictions since 1991, “several of which involved assaulting or threatening an officer or other authority figure,” Bond wrote.

Before his sentencing, Schwartz addressed the judge briefly and told him that he “sincerely regrets it[s] the damage January 6th has done to so many people and their lives.”

The judge said he did not believe Schwartz’ testimony.

“They took it upon themselves to injure several police officers that day,” Mehta said.

More than 100 police officers were injured in the riots.

With mail wires



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