Three January 6, 2021, rioters involved in one of the most brutal assaults on police during the attack at the US Capitol were found guilty on Tuesday of several felonies following a bench trial before a federal judge.
Patrick McCaughey was found guilty of nine counts, including assault with a deadly weapon, for an attack against Washington, DC, police officer Daniel Hodges. A video of the assault, in which Hodges screamed in pain as he was crushed against a doorway and had his mask ripped off his face, went viral shortly after the attack.
“The lower west terrace and the lower west terrace tunnel were the scenes of shocking violence and hostility towards police on January 6, 2021,” District Judge Trevor McFadden said before handing down the verdict. “No police officer should have to endure these attacks.”
“Mr. McCaughey used the force of his body, and used the force of other rioters behind him, to pin Officer Hodges” against the wall and “left him defenseless to other rioters,” McFadden said, adding that Hodges was “crushed” and let out “ gut wrenching cries of pain.”
One of McCaughey’s codefendants, Tristan Stevens, was also found guilty on nine charges. The other, David Mehaffie, was found guilty of four charges.
Both Stevens and Mehaffie were acquitted on a single count of obstruction of an official proceeding, as McFadden said that government prosecutors did not prove that the two knew the certification of Electoral College votes was underway inside the Capitol when they arrived.
Dozens of people sat quietly in the courtroom while McFadden handed down the verdict.
Once the almost two-hour hearing was over, McCaughey was remanded into custody and was not allowed to say goodbye to his mother, who was in the courtroom. Another supporter of McCaughey shouted at the US Marshals as they took McCaughey away in handcuffs and later cried in the hallway of the DC courthouse.
According to prosecutors, the three men engaged in the assault of police officers guarding a tunnel entrance to the Capitol on the Lower West Terrace – a brutal scene where officers were beaten, crushed and even dragged out into the crowd in an hours-long attack.
McCaughey and Stevens battled police, prosecutors said, while Mehaffie directed members of the mob in and out of the Lower West Terrace tunnel.
The three men argued at various times during the trial that they were trapped in the mob, were trying to help officers, or did not know about the violence. But McFadden said that testimony from multiple police officers during the trial, including Hodges and former Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell – both of whom have been outspoken about the events of January 6 – as well as videos of the event undercut those claims.
According to Gonell, Stevens hit him several times with a stolen riot shield and attempted to steal another officer’s baton.
“To this day, even after going through treatment for the trauma, I still struggle with the timeline. But I do remember your defendant and what he did,” Gonell told Stevens’ attorney.
Hodges testified that he was crushed in a doorway inside the tunnel by McCaughey, who was pushing against him with a riot shield. Prosecutors showed images of Hodges taken after the attack, with half of Hodge’s face covered in blood and bruising and swelling across his body.
McCaughey, Stevens and Mehaffie will be sentenced in November.
Three other men charged in the attack, Robert Morss, Geoffrey Sills and David Lee Judd, were found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding during a bench trial in late August. Morss and Sills were also found guilty of assault.