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Tags: michael fanone | jan.6 | amy berman jackson | police

Man Who Tased DC Cop on Jan. 6 Gets 12.5 Years

By    |   Wednesday, 21 June 2023 02:20 PM EDT

A man who pleaded guilty to having tased former Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison on Wednesday.

Daniel Rodriguez, 40, of Fontana, Calif., pleaded guilty in February to four felony charges, including conspiracy and assaulting a law enforcement officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, delivered Rodriguez's sentence, denouncing him as a "one-man army of hate, attacking police officers and destroying property," NBC News reported.

Federal prosecutors sought 14 years in prison for Rodriguez, according to the report.

Rodriguez admitted to taking part in the assault on Fanone after another rioter dragged the officer into the crowd outside the tunnel, where police were trying to beat back the protesters at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Fanone, who at one point lost consciousness and suffered a heart attack, was heard on camera screaming that he has kids in a desperate appeal for his life as other rioters beat him.

"I don't give a sh** about Daniel Rodriguez," Fanone said Wednesday, according to NBC News. "He ceased to exist to me as a person a long time ago.

"Any compassion or empathy I felt toward those who laid siege to our Capitol, whose actions I felt were at least in part influenced by their leader Donald Trump and his lies, has been eroded — eroded by the attacks directed at me and my family by supporters of Donald Trump and the right-wing media."

Rodriguez's guilty plea came in February, about two weeks before jury selection was supposed to begin in his trial in Washington's federal court.

Rodriguez admitted in an interview with FBI agents after his arrest in March 2021 that he drove a stun gun into Fanone's neck. Rodriguez told agents he had believed he was doing the "right thing" Jan. 6 and he had been prepared to die to "save the country." He cried as he spoke to the agents, saying he was "stupid" and ashamed by his actions.

Rodriguez's attorneys had tried unsuccessfully to block prosecutors from using his FBI interview at trial, arguing the agents used "psychologically coercive tactics" to get him to talk.

Authorities say Rodriguez and others were part of a Telegram group chat called "PATRIOTS 45 MAGA Gang" in the run-up to Jan. 6, in which they advocated violence and discussed what they viewed as a stolen election. In one post from Dec. 29, 2020, Rodriguez wrote in the chat: “Congress can hang. I'll do it. Please let us get these people dear God," according to charging papers.

At the Capitol, Rodriguez was part of the mob that pushed into the tunnel where officers were trying to fend off the rioters, prosecutors said. Inside the tunnel, another rioter handed him the stun gun that he would later apply to the back of Fanone's neck, according to court papers. After assaulting Fanone, Rodriguez entered the Capitol through a broken window. Later, he texted his friends: "Tazzed the [expletive] out of the blue," they said.

Fanone said he suffered a heart attack and a traumatic brain injury and his injuries had ultimately cost him his career. He has written a book about his Jan. 6 experience, and he testified at a hearing held by the House committee investigating the insurrection.

Nearly 1,000 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Jan. 6 riot. More than 500 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors. Approximately 400 have been sentenced, with over half getting terms of imprisonment ranging from seven days to 10 years.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

A man who pleaded guilty to having tased former Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison on Wednesday.
michael fanone, jan.6, amy berman jackson, police
Wednesday, 21 June 2023 02:20 PM
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