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Trump Rioter Who Assaulted Capitol Cops With Pole Sentenced To More Than 5 Years In Prison

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Mark Ponder

A Donald Trump supporter who assaulted law enforcement officers with poles during the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol was sentenced to more than five years in prison on Tuesday.

Capitol rioter Mark Ponder, 56, pleaded guilty in April to assaulting law enforcement and has been held without bond since March 2021.

Prosecutors said Ponder remained on Capitol grounds for nearly three hours on January 6 and engaged in a violent assault in one of the most brutal attacks between officers and rioters that day.

After being arrested, he told federal agents that police were “part of the problem” during the riot.

Ponder told the ejudge he “got caught up” in the chaos that erupted that day and “didn’t mean for any of this to happen.”

“I wasn’t thinking that day,” Ponder told U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, asking her for mercy before she sentenced him to five years and three months in prison.

Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, one of the US Capitol Police officers that Ponder attacked, asked Chutkan: “Please do not fall for his plea because that day he didn’t care about me” and described Ponder’s explanation that he got caught up in the moment as “BS.”

“He didn’t care whether I was a police officer or not. He didn’t care I had a family or not,” Gonell said, according to CNN.

The judge sentenced Ponder to 63 months in prison.