WASHINGTON — A Donald Trump fan who took his teenage son along as he assaulted Mike Fanone, then a Washington, D.C., police officer, and another officer at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced to more than seven years in prison Tuesday.
Kyle Young, 38 — an HVAC worker from Iowa whose lawyer said he was "injected" with lies about the 2020 election and who had asked his Facebook followers to join him at the “stop the steel,” referring to the "Stop the Steal" rally on Jan. 6 — pleaded guilty in May to a felony count of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers.
Young admitted that he used a strobe light to disorient police, helped throw a large audio speaker at police, grabbed Fanone's wrist when the mob abducted Fanone and made contact with another officer abducted by the mob.
Young's 86-month sentence matched what federal prosecutors sought. They argued that Young took part in the assault at the lower west tunnel of the Capitol, where "some of the most barbaric violence" took place on Jan. 6. As discovered by online sleuths, the government argued that Young handed a Taser to Danny Rodriguez, a MAGA fanatic who used it to electroshock Fanone in the neck on Jan. 6.
Young, trailed by his 16-year-old son, was right nearby as Rodriguez electroshocked Fanone, extensive video evidence shows. Rodriguez, who has been charged in connection with the riot, admitted the actions to the FBI; his case is pending.
U.S. Capitol Police Officer Morris Moore, who was dragged into the mob, said in a victim impact statement in court Tuesday that rioters’ actions reminded him of the film "300" or a zombie movie. He said he's had nightmares about facing down the mob.
"It's almost like a war," he said. "It was crazy."
Moore, a former college football player, said he was reminded of the words of a coach who told him the to leave it all on the field. He said he wanted to get back in the fight after he was removed from the riot.
"I wanted to leave it out there on the west front," he said. "We did our best. We did our best."
Fanone, who recounted how officers fought to defend the Capitol in his own victim statement, told the judge this "isn't my first rodeo" in federal court, noting that he had been to the courthouse numerous times as an officer. He referred to Young’s criminal history in describing how Young had prevented him from finishing his career in law enforcement.
Fanone said that while he was "serving my community and my country with distinction," Young was "racking up felony criminal convictions."
Fanone added that he believed Young should have been given a 10-year sentence.
"I hope you suffer," he told Young.
After Fanone’s statement, a supporter of the Jan. 6 defendants who was in the courtroom called Fanone a “piece of s---.” There was a brief stare-down between them before marshals escorted the supporter out and banned him from the courthouse for the rest of the day.
Young turned directly to Fanone before his sentencing and apologized, saying he hoped Fanone would one day forgive him.
"If I could take it back, I would," Young said, adding that he wasn’t proud of what he did and that it eats at him every day.
"Whatever you give me as a punishment I accept, and I probably deserve it," he told the judge.
Prosecutors laid out in a sentencing memo how Young's actions affected Fanone that day.
"When Young spotted Officer Fanone being pulled into the crowd, he purposefully moved toward the attack, and joined at a pivotal moment — restraining Officer Fanone's wrist by pulling it away from his body seconds after the officer was repeatedly tased and amid shouts of 'kill him with his own gun,'" federal prosecutors said.
"Young's restraint of Officer Fanone prevented the officer from protecting his service weapon at a time when the officer's life was in danger and gave Young's co-defendant Thomas Sibick an opening to forcibly remove Officer Fanone's badge from his chest and his police radio from a pocket on the front of his vest," prosecutors added.
Fanone's badge was later buried in the woods behind Sibick's backyard, the government has said.
Young had written a letter telling U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson that he was sorry for his actions on Jan. 6.
"I still can't believe I let myself and my son get swept up into such terrible events," he wrote, adding that he was "highly ashamed" and that he'll "never do anything like that again."
More than 850 people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, and more than 350 have pleaded guilty. The longest sentence, 10 years in federal prison, went to an ex-New York City officer who assaulted a Washington officer with a flagpole and tackled him to the ground and then lied on the stand about it. Hundreds more arrests are still to come.