Jan. 6 rioter who used stun gun on officer sentenced to more than 12 years

ByQuinn Owen ABCNews logo
Wednesday, June 21, 2023

A Jan. 6 rioter who tased a police officer in the neck during one of the most violent clashes of the Capitol attack was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison Wednesday.

Daniel Joseph Rodriguez pleaded guilty earlier this year to multiple felony counts and admitted to the FBI that he drove a stun gun into the neck of then-Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone.

He yelled "Trump won!" as he was taken out of the court room.

Video of the violent clash was played during the Jan. 6 congressional committee hearings. Fanone told the committee about joining other officers on the front lines of the riot, saying his fellow officers "looked beat to hell," and described the rioters as terrorists.

"They became incredibly violent ... and you had a large group at the mouth of that tunnel entrance trying to push their way through the officers who were fighting to defend it," Fanone said. "I believe had they done so -- or had they accomplished that -- they would have trampled us to death. Most certainly you would have had police officers killed."

Fanone and other officers pushed the crowd out of the tunnel before he was forced off the police line by rioters.

"I just remember getting violently assaulted from every direction," he told the congressional panel.

He recalled people yelling about killing him with his own gun as he was beaten, comparing the brawl to a "medieval battle scene" in a 2021 interview with ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas.

"[It was] some of the most brutal combat I've ever encountered," he said.

Attorneys for Rodriguez said he went to the Jan. 6 rally to support President Trump and followed him "blindly."

"Mr. Rodriguez trusted Trump blindly and admired Trump so much that he referred to him as 'dad' in his social media chats leading up to Jan. 6th," defense attorneys wrote.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, assaulting a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon, obstruction and evidence tampering.

ABC News' Alex Mallin contributed to this report.