The man who dragged former Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fanone into the crowd of violent rioters on January 6, 2021, yelling “I’ve got one!” was sentenced Thursday to 90 months behind bars.
In the lower west terrace tunnel, a small entrance to the Capitol, the mob fought police with chemical spray, poles, bats and officers’ own batons and shields against the line of police — including Fanone — protecting the building and those inside.
It was during this battle that a man named Albuquerque Head pulled Fanone away from his fellow officers, wrapped his arm around Fanone’s neck and tore him into the crowd, according to court documents, which consumed Fanone and knocked him unconscious.
“These were some of the darkest acts on one of (our) darkest days,” District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said before handing down the sentence Thursday.
“He was your prey, he was your trophy,” she said of Fanone, later adding that the officer was “protecting America” that day.
The Kingsport, Tennessee, man pleaded guilty in May to assaulting a police officer and has been in custody since April 2021.
During the hearing, prosecutors played video from Fanone’s body-worn camera on Jan. 6, which showed Head initially telling Fanone, “I’m going to get you out of here.”
“Thank you,” Fanone replied.
Fanone testified during the sentencing that at first he thought Head was trying to help him. Seconds later, however, Head shouted “I’ve got one!” to the mob.
Fanone testified that he felt Head “choked me and dragged me into the vicious crowd” as he held onto Fanone while another rioter tased him. The officer suffered a heart attack when rioters punched him and punched him in the neck repeatedly, Fanone said.
“Show Mr. Head the same mercy he showed me on Jan. 6,” Fanone told the judge Thursday. “None.”
Former DC Metropolitan police officer recounts what GOP leaders told him after the riot
The footage also showed Fanone’s first words as he regained consciousness as officers carried him into the Capitol. “We took the door back?” he asked his officers.
Fanone is now a CNN contributor.
Head chose not to speak at Thursday’s hearing.
“The head appears before this honorable court as a 43-year-old seeking redemption and mercy,” his defense attorney, Nicholas Wallace, wrote in a sentencing memo, noting that his father had died while in prison and his mother is in “declining health.”
Head’s attorney also blamed his client’s lengthy rap sheet on a past addiction to opioids and other drugs, saying his crimes came to a “screaming halt” after he sobered up several years ago.
Head’s fiancee and the mother of his two daughters were at the sentencing Thursday and wrote a letter to the judge on Head’s behalf that Jackson called “raw” and “true.”
Reading from the letter, Jackson noted that “it’s the women who will suffer.”
Fanone told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “Anderson Cooper 360” Thursday that he thought the sentence was appropriate and that Jackson was “thoughtful in his sentencing,” but added that the lengthy sentences handed down to some convicts appealed to the 6 .January, may be “inspiring” some Americans. to “fight harder and be more violent.”
Asked if he believes the long sentences have “a deterrent effect” on potential future attacks, Fanone said: “Traditionally, I would say yes, but these are not traditional crimes. These are politically motivated attacks on law enforcement and on our democracy. ”
“Unfortunately, you still have individuals, a former president, many of his allies, who continue to espouse the same lies that motivated these attacks,” Fanone added. “So while I’m thinking it [the long sentences] may prevent many Americans from participating in anything like January 6th, I also think it inspires many Americans to fight harder and be more violent.”