A Pittsfield man pleaded guilty Monday to assaulting police officers during the insurrection at the US Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, and faces the possibility of serving several years in prison when he’s sentenced in October, authorities said.
Troy Sargent, 38, entered his plea during a hearing in federal court in Washington, according to a statement from the office of US Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia. Court records indicate the hearing was held remotely.
Sargent’s public defender declined to comment. Sargent remains free on personal recognizance pending sentencing, which is scheduled for Oct. 3.
According to the statement from prosecutors, Sargent was among the rioters who breached the Capitol on the afternoon of Jan. 6 as lawmakers were in the process of certifying Joe Biden’s November 2020 election victory.
Prosecutors said Sargent at 2:31 p.m. “stepped forward from the crowd and swung his open hand towards a U.S. Capitol Police Officer, making contact with the officer. Immediately afterward, another officer instructed Sargent and others, ‘Do not start attacking people.’
Sargent repeated the act less than a minute later, this time missing the officer but hitting someone else in the crowd, according to the statement.
“In this second incident, Sargent intended to make contact with the same officer,” the statement said. “In a social media message later, he wrote to another person, ‘I got two hits in on the same rookie cop.’”
Assistant US Attorney Steven H. Breslow said during a March 2021 court hearing following Sargent’s arrest that he had essentially provided a full confession to the arresting FBI agents.
“Mr. Sargent did submit to a Mirandized, audio recorded interview in which he acknowledged that he was the individual in those videos,” Breslow said. “That he was the person throwing the punch and lunging forward towards the officer. So that’s extremely serious conduct.”
The violence on Jan. 6 erupted after many in the mob had attended a rally where Donald Trump, in the waning days of his presidency, exhorted them to “fight like hell” and walk to the Capitol in an effort to disrupt the certification of the election results.
Members of Congress evacuated the premises as the mob overcame the security presence outside. Biden’s victory was certified early the next morning, and he was inaugurated two weeks later.
Congress is currently holding televised hearings into the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Graves’s office said more than 840 people have been arrested for crimes during the insurrection, including over 250 defendants charged with assaulting or impeding police.
“The investigation remains ongoing,” the statement said.
“He (Sargent) faces a statutory maximum of eight years in prison on the charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers and up to five years in prison on the civil disorder charge,” the statement said. “He also faces a total of 3 ½ years in prison on the four misdemeanors.”