Scott Fairlamb rioter trump, gym former mma fighter video image cnn

On Jan. 6, Scott Fairlamb was sentenced for Assaulting an Officer.

A Man Is Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison for Assaulting a Capitol Officer

Scott Fairlamb's sentence, a former New Jersey gym owner, is the harshest yet imposed on any of the more than 650 persons charged in the Jan. 6 attack.

A former New Jersey gym owner who was the first to plead guilty to assaulting a police officer during the January attack on the Capitol was sentenced to 41 months in prison on Wednesday, the harshest penalty ever meted out to any of the almost 650 persons charged in the incident.

Scott Fairlamb, the gym's owner, admitted in August of breaking into the Capitol and then approaching a group of officers outside as they navigated a big and agitated crowd of pro-Trump demonstrators.

Mr. Fairlamb, a huge, bearded man who had previously competed as a mixed martial artist, was seen on camera shouting at the officers, "Are you an American?" Act as if it!" Mr. Fairlamb then shoved one of them and hit him in the face, unprompted.

Scott Fairlamb rioter trump, gym former mma fighter video image cnn
During the Jan. 6 disturbance, a mob scaled the Capitol's walls.

Mr. Fairlamb apologized in halting tones to his family during a hearing in Federal District Court in Washington, saying he had ruined the reputation "they had built" with his "totally reckless" acts. His father was a longtime state police officer in New Jersey, and his brother is a Secret Service agent who was previously assigned to Michelle Obama.

"That was not Scott Fairlamb," he stated on Jan. 6 regarding his behavior. "That is not the person I was brought up to be."

However, Judge Royce C. Lamberth described Mr. Fairlamb's assault on the officer as a "affront to society and the law," adding that he should serve time in jail despite his demonstration of regret for the incident.

"The offense that you committed is vital to our democratic system," Judge Lamberth stated.

Mr. Fairlamb's sentence was significantly less than prosecutors' proposal of 44 months in jail and might serve as a model for scores of other defendants charged with attacking police officers on Jan. 6. Judge Lamberth stated that he would receive credit for the ten months he had already spent in detention following his refusal to be released on bond.

According to authorities, there were approximately 1,000 attacks on federal policemen that day, based on a study of police body cams. Over 200 persons have been charged for assaulting, resisting, or interfering with officers, but only five have pled guilty, including Mr. Fairlamb.

Prosecutors delivered a statement from Mr. Fairlamb's victim, who has been identified as Officer Z.B., during the court. The officer stated in his statement that he still recalls the "dread and horror" he had after being attacked alone outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, referring to it as "the scariest day" of his career.

Prosecutors stated in court filings filed last week that Mr. Fairlamb's intimidating behavior persisted after Jan. 6. Two days later, they said, he filmed himself threatening additional violence and declaring, "They pulled the pin on the grenade, and the blackout is approaching."

Prosecutors allege that after F.B.I. agents attempted to interrogate him, he wrote on social media that he would return to the Capitol.

Mr. Fairlamb's lawyer, Harley Breite, stated in his own court documents that his client expressed "remorse" and "tremendous shame" in September when he met with prosecutors and investigators to discuss his case. Mr. Fairlamb appeared to echo numerous features of the QAnon conspiracy theory in online posts both before and after Jan. 6 and expressed anxiety about the impending civil war. Mr. Breite, on the other hand, has come to believe that he was "duped by social media."

Scott Fairlamb, as seen in an online photo from the mob attack on Jan. 6. He is chewing on an unexploded pepper ball.
Scott Fairlamb, as seen in an online photo from the mob attack on Jan. 6. He is chewing on an unexploded pepper ball.

While new arrests continue nearly daily and show no signs of abating, the massive prosecution of the Capitol attack has begun to pivot toward entering guilty pleas and issuing sentences. At this moment, barely more than 30 people have been sentenced — the majority for misdemeanor offenses like as disruptive behavior and parading illegally in the Capitol. Most have escaped jail time entirely, receiving either home confinement or probation as punishment.

Prior to Mr. Fairlamb's sentencing, the most severe penalty meted out to a Jan. 6 defendant was an eight-month prison sentence imposed in July on a Florida man, Paul Hodgkins, for breaching the Senate floor with a pro-Trump flag.

Prosecutors filed court papers Tuesday night recommending the most severe sentence yet — four years and three months in prison — for Jacob Chansley, the self-styled QAnon Shaman who pleaded guilty in September to obstructing Congress's business by storming the Capitol shirtless, wearing a horned fur hat, and carrying an American flag attached to a spear.

The issue of how severely to punish individuals responsible for the attack has sparked a philosophical debate among federal judges in Washington. Tanya S. Chutkan, Judge Obama appointment, has more than once imposed a tougher sentence than the government wanted, frequently stating, "There must be repercussions."

Another judge, chosen by President Donald J. Trump, Trevor N. McFadden, has questioned whether low-level convicts should serve any jail time.

At a hearing last month, Washington's chief federal judge, Beryl A. Howell, criticized the Justice Department's "almost schizophrenic" approach to sentencing, noting that prosecutors had consistently described the Jan. 6 events in disturbingly extreme terms while allowing scores of defendants to plead guilty to what amounted to minor offenses.

Judge Howell remarked that the government's "muddled approach" was not only unclear, but also limited her ability to impose harsh punishments.