Capitol rioter gets 5 years in prison for pepper spraying police

Florida man Barry Ramey was sentenced to five years in prison today for attacking Capitol police officers with pepper spray on Jan. 6.

The convicted gentleman, a 38-year-old aircraft mechanic who has been behind bars since April 2022, had joined up with a large group of Proud Boys on the morning of the insurrection, according to AP News, before marching to the Capitol and participating in the riots. He had also harassed an FBI agent before his arrest, say prosecutors, anonymously calling the agent on the phone to let him know he had his home address.

Prosecutors say that by pepper spraying and thereby disabling two officers, Ramey allowed rioters to push past a line of police officers who were trying to protect the Capitol. "Like an attacker who holds a pillow over a victim's head while the victim is assaulted, Ramey's spray was capable of making officers just as vulnerable to attack," prosecutors said in court documents.

But in true MAGA style, defense attorney Farheena Siddiqui downplayed her client's actions, saying that Ramey didn't steal or actually break into the Capitol, but that he was simply "egged on by more nefarious forces" that day.

From AP News:

His attorney wrote in court documents that Ramey "has understood the gravity of his actions and is ready for a change with support standing by to help him through it."

Prosecutors say Ramey joined a large group of Proud Boys on the morning of Jan. 6 before heading toward the Capitol, where lawmakers were meeting to certify President Joe Biden's election victory over Trump. As another rioter charged a police line, Ramey lifted his arm and began spraying, hitting two officers, according to prosecutors.

After the officers were sprayed, rioters managed to push past the police line and up the stairs toward the Capitol, authorities say.

Ramey's lawyer noted in court documents that her client didn't enter the Capitol, steal anything or "remain defiant following January 6th—as many have done." …

"There is a marked difference between those who came prepared that day for violence, planned for it, advocated for it, and enlisted others to carry it out versus those who came to support their candidate, and were egged on by more nefarious forces and conducted themselves in a criminal manner," defense attorney Farheena Siddiqui wrote.