Washington, D.C./ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 24, 2024
North Carolina Man Sentenced to Six Years for Assaulting Police in Jan. 6 Capitol BreachSource: Unsplash/ Tingey Injury Law Firm

A Sanford, North Carolina man has received a 72-month prison sentence for his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, where he assaulted law enforcement personnel. David Joseph Gietzen, 30, was also handed 36 months of supervised release after serving his time, as decided by U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols on Tuesday.

Following a conviction by a federal jury on August 31, 2023, Gietzen was found guilty of a suite of seven felony charges, including civil disorder and assaulting officers with a deadly weapon. Moreover, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, in addition to these felonies, the North Carolina native was also convicted on misdemeanor offenses for his conduct within the Capitol grounds.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, Gietzen traveled from their home in North Carolina to Washington, D.C., to attend the "Stop the Steal" rally held on January 6, 2021, near the Ellipse. Then, overwhelmed by anger about the 2020 Presidential election results, he marched alongside others to the Capitol. Donned in protective gear, he confronted the police, and around 2 p.m., he pushed against their lines and engaged in physical altercations with officers. Gietzen continued this belligerent stance, shouting expletives and inciting chants.

When the police line was eventually overpowered by the rioters at 2:28 p.m., Gietzen contributed to the chaos, successfully shoving an officer and wrenching another's face mask. Armed with a long pole, at 2:31 p.m., he jabbed another officer, exploiting the vulnerabilities in their protective armor. Gietzen then continued to be an aggressive part of the mob until around 4 p.m., as acknowledged in court records.

Priding himself on his involvement, Gietzen boasted to his friends and family post-riot, claiming a "beautiful day" and predicting an "armed civil war" on the horizon. Even during his trial and sentencing, he expressed no regret for his actions, according to a statement obtained by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. Gietzen was finally arrested on May 11, 2022, by the FBI in his hometown.

As part of a broader investigation that has seen more than 1,385 individuals charged with crimes connected to the Capitol breach, Gietzen's case adds to the nearly 500 individuals facing charges for assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The FBI's Charlotte and Washington Field Offices led the investigation with assistance from U.S. Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department, highlighting that the probe into the Jan. 6 riot remains active and expansive.