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A man from Colorado has been given a three-year prison sentence for striking a police officer with a wooden plank during the breach of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Jacob Travis Clark, a 34-year-old man who stated he was among the initial group to enter the building, was previously convicted on one felony count for obstructing an official proceeding and five misdemeanors after a trial earlier this year.
According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), he received a 33-month prison sentence and 12 months of supervised release on Monday.
The Department of Justice released a statement stating that Clark had predicted violence prior to the events of January 6 and had traveled from his residence in Colorado Springs to participate in what he believed would be a historical event.
On January 5, 2021, Clark sent text messages to his father that were later obtained by the Department of Justice. The messages stated: “I will be there for the riots if they claim he is not the winner, haha.” Clark then became part of the group that entered the Capitol grounds, and later messaged his friends, “We are going to storm the capital.”
According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Clark was one of the initial individuals to enter the US Capitol building at 2:14pm through the Senate Wing doors. He also sent multiple texts declaring that he was inside the building and that they had forcefully entered by breaking down a door. He asserted that he was the first rioter to enter the Senate Chambers.
Clark was seen walking along the hallway from the Senate Wing Door towards the Crypt while holding a wooden plank measuring 2×4. Shortly after, a US Capitol Police Officer (USCP) was struck with the same wooden plank, causing them to retreat into the Crypt visibly in pain.
Clark eventually joined a group of protesters, gestured towards the police, and made threats towards them. The group then pressured the police to withdraw, allowing Clark to enter further into the building.
According to the Department of Justice, Clark boasted about his participation in the insurrection through text messages, despite spending around 40 minutes inside the Capitol building.
The footage of the Capitol riot was presented to the Jan 6 committee.
He shared photos and texts, stating “I assisted in breaking down the door,” “I was the initial person to enter the chamber,” and “We successfully gained control. They were forced to evacuate.”
On April 21, 2021, Clark was apprehended by the FBI in Colorado Springs.
The Department of Justice reports that within a span of 33 months after January 6, 2021, over 1,100 people have been accused and charged in almost all 50 states for offenses connected to the invasion of the Capitol.
Over 400 people have been accused of attacking or obstructing law enforcement. The investigation is still in progress.