Jan 6 rioter accused of assaulting officer with wooden plank jailed

Jacob Travis Clark, 34, claimed to be one of the first insurrectionists to enter US Capitol

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Monday 30 October 2023 22:52 GMT
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A Colorado man who hit a police officer with a wooden plank during the storming of the US Capitol on January 6 2021, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Jacob Travis Clark, 34, who claimed to be one of the first insurrectionists to enter the building, was previously found guilty on one felony charge – of obstruction of an official proceeding – and five misdemeanours following a trial earlier this year.

On Monday he was sentenced to 33 months in prison and 12 months of supervised release, according to the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

According to a statement put out by the DOJ, Clark had “anticipated violence” well before the events on January 6, and had driven across the country from his home in Colorado Springs to “be a part of history”.

Text messages sent by Clark to his father on January 5 2021 and obtained by the DOJ stated: “I’m here for the riots when they say he isn’t the winner lol." Clark then joined the “mob” that forced its way onto Capitol grounds, later texting his friends “We are gonna storm the [sic] capital."

Thousands of insurrectionists stormed the US Capitol on January 6 2021
Thousands of insurrectionists stormed the US Capitol on January 6 2021 (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The DOJ press release said: “At 2.14pm, Clark was among the first to enter the US Capitol building through the Senate Wing doors… Clark continued to send texts stating, "yeah I’m in the capitol [sic] building" and "we stormed it and busted the door down." He claimed to be the first rioter to enter the Senate Chambers.

“Clark was then observed walking down the hallway from the Senate Wing Door toward the Crypt holding a 2x4 wooden plank. Moments later, a US Capitol Police Officer (USCP) was hit with the wooden 2x4 plank, which forced the officer to retreat into the Crypt in visible pain.

“Clark later joined a crowd of rioters, pointed at police, and threatened them. The mob forced the police to retreat, and Clark proceeded deeper into the building.”

Clark spent approximately 40 minutes inside the Capitol building, but continued to “brag via text messages” about his involvement in the insurrection, the DOJ said.

Footage of Capitol riot shown at Jan 6 committee

He sent pictures and messages, writing "I helped break down the door," "I was the first one in the chamber," and "We took the whole thing. They had to evacuate."

Clark was arrested by the FBI back in Colorado Springs on 21 April 2021.

According to the DOJ, in the 33 months since Jan 6, 2021, more than 1,100 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the Capitol.

More than 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

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