An Iowa resident was sentenced on Sept. 27 to more than seven years in federal prison for assaulting a law enforcement officer on Jan. 6, 2021, matching one of the longest terms of imprisonment so far among nearly 900 U.S. Capitol breach prosecutions.
Kyle Young, 38, of Redfield, Iowa, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Washington by Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who noted that Young admitted to being among a group of protesters who participated in the assault of a former police officer in the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol.
Young attempted to turn himself in on Jan. 27 but “lied” about not having “anything to do with the riots,” according to court documents (pdf). He stated at the time that a cousin notified him that a picture of him appeared on the news.
In April 2021, Young was arrested and was subsequently indicted with two co-defendants accused of participating in the same attack. He pleaded guilty on May 5 to assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers.
Jackson gave Young credit for the 17 months he’s been held since his arrest, meaning he’ll likely serve nearly six years in prison. Following his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release and has been ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.
Young Regrets His Actions of That Day
The 38-year-old heating, ventilation, and air conditioning worker traveled from his Redfield, Iowa, home to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021, together with his 16-year-old son to join the “Stop the Steal” rally. He made plans more than a week prior to the event to travel to the state and attend the protest.
Once at the Capitol, Young joined a group of participants who were pushing against a police line in an attempt to enter the government building. Shortly after, he managed to enter the Capitol’s lower west terrace holding a strobe light toward police while pushing forward “a stick-like object,” per court documents.
In video footage obtained by authorities, Young was seen giving a “dark object” the “size and shape” of an electric stun gun to another man, identified by police as Daniel Rodriguez. That same weapon was later used against former D.C. Metropolitan police officer Michael Fanone.
About five minutes later, Young and another individual hurled a heavy audio speaker toward the police line, but it instead struck a fellow participant, drawing blood.
Young is then seen briefly holding the strobe light again, pointing it at the police line, before passing the flashlight back to his son. Moments later, he used a “long pole or stick that was being passed through the crowd” to strike at officers.
About ten minutes later, Fanone arrived as reinforcement at the Capitol’s lower west terrace where protesters were attempting to breach the tunnel. Shortly after, a 42-year-old man identified as Albuquerque Cosper Head of Kingsport, Tennessee, “grabbed” Fanone “around the neck” and pulled the officer into the crowd, which included Young, per the documents.
Prosecutors said the officer was “repeatedly assaulted by multiple individuals” as Young restrained him when he “was at his most vulnerable.” At this time, Fanone “had been repeatedly tased on the back of his neck” by Rodriguez as Young continued to restrain him “for several seconds.”
Young’s attorney, Samuel Moore, argued his engagement with the officer was two to three seconds of holding Fanone’s wrist. He tried to convince the judge that the government’s request of seven years was excessive and “outside his specific criminal conduct.”
Fanone testified to the court about what he experienced that day, saying he was beaten and repeatedly shocked with a stun gun. Young also admitted to handing a stun gun to Rodriguez, who then used it on Fanone. He also admitted to grabbing the officer’s hand as he struggled to protect himself in the attack.
“What I hope you do with that time is, I hope you suffer,” Fanone told Young during his recount of Jan. 6, 2021, events, urging Jackson to sentence the father-of-four to 10 years in federal prison for his role in the assault.
Fanone told U.S. House Committee investigators that he was “grabbed, beaten, tased, all while being called a traitor to my country.” The assault on the officer stopped after he shouted that he had children. During the attack, he also suffered a heart attack and was escorted back to the police line, where he regained consciousness. He has since retired from the department.
Young originally faced more than a dozen charges but entered a plea to the single charge of assault on an officer.
Jackson told Young at the sentencing that he’s “one of the most serious” offenders related to Jan. 6, 2021, events in his caseload, calling him a “one man wrecking ball,” while adding that he has “seldom in [his] years on the bench been presented with anything like this.”
Young cried as he apologized to Fanone, saying he wished he could take back his actions of that day.
“I hope someday you forgive me,” he said.
In the 20 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 870 people have been arrested throughout the nation for “crimes related to the breach” of the Capitol, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement, noting that over 265 individuals have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
The harshest sentence of 10 years behind bars was given to a former New York City police officer who assaulted an officer at the Capitol with a metal flagpole.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.