Sean McHugh, 36, who bear-sprayed cops during the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, was sentenced on Friday to 6 ½ years in prison.
"His actions were not planned," said attorney Joseph Allen, of a client to traveled to a political rally with a 16oz can of bear spray, used it on police officers, then took to Facebook to brag about his acts of violence. The judge at McHugh's bench trial–he decided not to take his chances with a jury–found him guilty of obstruction and assaulting law enforcement officers.
McHugh was part of the initial breach of the Capitol grounds at the Peace Circle. Once he arrived at the Capitol, McHugh actively participated in at least four attempts to breach perimeters established by officers during the riot. He was one of the initial rioters to breach a police line and enter the West Plaza. Afterward, McHugh wrestled with an officer for control of a barricade protecting access to the Capitol and assaulted a line of U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers on the West Plaza, hitting them with his bear spray, causing the officers to back away from the line, and preventing them from performing their official duties. Finally, McHugh helped other rioters to push a large metal sign into officers. In between these acts of aggression, McHugh used his megaphone to encourage other rioters to act against law enforcement.
After the riot, McHugh posted multiple messages on Facebook bragging about his actions during the riot and reveling in the violence against police, boasting, "…we stormed them and we took Congress"
For those keeping track, McHugh was a courtroom groveler: he "made a heartfelt statement expressing his remorse."