Capitol rioters plead guilty to assaulting police officer who suffered heart attack and brain trauma

Iowa man admitted to assaulting Michael Fanone as part of a plea deal, report says

Gino Spocchia
Friday 06 May 2022 18:07 BST
Kyle Young as seen in court documents filed by prosecutors
Kyle Young as seen in court documents filed by prosecutors (United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa)

A group of accused Capitol rioters have partially admitted to attacking police officer Michael Fanone on January 6, and will now likely face time behind bars.

Two members of the group, who are from different US states, appeared in court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to allegations of assaulting Mr Fanone, a former officer, The Washington Post reported.

Kyle Young, 38, told the court how he bought his teenage son to Washington DC from Redfield, Iowa, for the “Stop the Steal” rally and then made their way to the US Capitol.

That was when Mr Young and hundreds of rioters were confronted by a line of police attempting to stop supporters of the former US president Donald Trump from storming Congress. Michael Fanone, the officer, was among them.

Mr Fanone, speaking in testimonies after the attack, said he was pulled into the crowd of rioters and was assaulted. Mr Young told the court as part of his plea agreement that he followed as the officer was pulled, beaten and tazed.

The 42-year-old suffered a heart attack and traumatic brain injuries on 6 January and retired from the Capitol police force last year. Mr Fanone recounted previously how he shouted “I got kids!” at his attackers, who dragged him back to the police line.

The former officer told the court he believed Mr Young was the rioter who tried to grab his police-issued gun and threatened to kill him, although video evidence did not show the Iowa man doing so.

As part of the plea agreement, the charge for attempted theft of Mr Fanone’s weapon was dropped by prosecutors and it will not be discussed at sentencing, according to The Post.

While Mr Young also admitted to attacking another Capitol police officer on 6 January, the report said, another accused rioter – Albuquerque Head, of Tennessee – was scheduled to plead guilty on Friday to attacking Mr Fanone.

Two others have not pleaded guilty in connection with the attack on Mr Fanone, and they are Daniel Rodriguez, of Southern California, and Thomas Sibick, of Buffalo.

A lawyer for Mr Young said he did know the activities of the others, according to the report.

The group are among 800 alleged rioters arrested in the Capitol riot’s aftermath.

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