A member of the mob that launched a series of violent attacks on police — including D.C. officer Michael Fanone — in a tunnel under the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, apologized Tuesday as a judge sentenced him to seven years and two months in prison.
“You were a one-man wrecking ball that day,” Judge Amy Berman Jackson said. “You were the violence.”
Fanone resigned from the D.C. police late last year, saying fellow officers turned on him for speaking so publicly about the Capitol attack and former president Donald Trump’s role in it. In court Tuesday, Fanone directly confronted his attacker, telling Young, “I hope you suffer.”
“The assault on me by Mr. Young cost me my career,” Fanone said. “It cost me my faith in law enforcement and many of the institutions I dedicated two decades of my life to serving.”
Young pleaded guilty in May to being in the group that attacked Fanone. Documents filed with his plea agreement offer this account:
Young and his 16-year-old son joined the tunnel battle just before 3 p.m., and Young handed a stun gun to another rioter and showed him how to use it. When Fanone was pulled from the police line, Young and his son pushed through the crowd toward him.
Young lost his grip on Fanone as the mob moved. He then pushed and hit a nearby Capitol Police officer, who had just been struck with bear spray, according to documents filed with his plea.
Young also pointed a strobe light at the officers, jabbed at them with a stick and threw an audio speaker toward the police line, hitting another rioter in the back of the head, prosecutors said.
In a letter to the court, Young said he cried on the phone with his wife as he left D.C.
“I was a nervous wreck and highly ashamed of myself,” he wrote. “I do not condone this and do not promote this like others have done. Violence isn’t the answer.”
In court, he apologized to Fanone, saying, “I hope someday you forgive me. … I am so, so sorry. If I could take it back, I would.”
Young has a long criminal history. While in prison for producing meth, he faced repeated sanctions for violence. His attorney said that after a difficult childhood, Young had straightened out his life, gotten married, raised four children and started working in HVAC installation. Until Jan. 6, he hadn’t been arrested in a dozen years, his attorney said.
His “conduct on January 6 is isolated to a unique set of circumstances that unfolded that are not likely to be replicated,” wrote his attorney, Samuel Moore.
Jackson said she believed Young had become a good husband and father. But she noted the continued possibility of political violence, with Trump and his allies responding to possible prosecution by “cagily predicting or even outright calling for violence in the streets.”
The sentence she gave Young is close to the eight-year statutory maximum for assaulting a police officer.
Two of the other men accused of involvement in the attack on Fanone have pleaded not guilty. One has admitted dragging Fanone down the Capitol steps; he is set to be sentenced in October.
The Jan. 6 insurrection
Congressional hearings: The House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol held a series of high-profile hearings to share its findings with the U.S. public. In what was likely its final hearing, the committee issued a surprise subpoena seeking testimony from former president Donald Trump. Here’s a guide to the biggest hearing moments so far.
Will there be charges? The committee could make criminal referrals of former president Donald Trump over his role in the attack, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in an interview.
The riot: On Jan. 6, 2021, a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election results. Five people died on that day or in the immediate aftermath, and 140 police officers were assaulted.
Inside the siege: During the rampage, rioters came perilously close to penetrating the inner sanctums of the building while lawmakers were still there, including former vice president Mike Pence. The Washington Post examined text messages, photos and videos to create a video timeline of what happened on Jan. 6.