Violent Participant in Capitol Assault Sentenced to Over 7 Years in Prison

Man Sentenced to Over 7 Years in Prison for Involvement in Capitol Assault

A man deemed by prosecutors as one of the most aggressive participants in the January 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison. Kyle Fitzsimons, 39, engaged in a series of violent encounters with officers during the insurrection, committing five separate assaults in under 10 minutes, according to officials. One of the assaults resulted in a career-ending and life-altering injury to U.S. Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell.

Fitzsimons, who was convicted last September on 11 charges, including seven felonies, threw a bow at a group of officers during the riot, hitting one officer’s helmet. He also attempted to drag a fallen officer into the mob. When Sergeant Gonell intervened to protect the fallen officer, Fitzsimons grappled with him, causing a permanent shoulder injury. Fitzsimons charged at groups of officers, wildly swinging his fists before leaving the Capitol grounds and encouraging others to fight with the police.

Sergeant Gonell, who required surgery after the attack, shared a victim impact statement in which he expressed the belief that Fitzsimons had ended his law enforcement career. Gonell emphasized the profound impact of his injuries, stating that he can no longer pursue the job he once loved or the lieutenant promotion he had worked hard for. He described Fitzsimons as having fundamentally changed his life for the worse and doubted if he would ever fully recover. Gonell requested that Fitzsimons receive the maximum sentence.

Images of Fitzsimons during the riot garnered attention, particularly due to his attire – a white butcher’s coat, which was bloodied during another rioter’s unsuccessful attack on officers. Fitzsimons is one of more than 1,000 individuals who have been arrested for their involvement in the Capitol insurrection. Prosecutors sought a 188-month prison sentence, followed by three years of supervised release, and a fine of $26,892. However, Fitzsimons was ultimately sentenced to 87 months in prison, with an additional 36 months of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $2,000.

During his sentencing, Fitzsimons expressed remorse, apologizing to the court, his family, and anyone else he may have disappointed with his conduct. The case serves as yet another example of the severe consequences faced by individuals involved in the storming of the U.S. Capitol, as law enforcement agencies continue to hold accountable those responsible for the attack on American democracy.