DC man sentenced to more than 4 years in prison for Capitol Riot

A D.C. man has been sentenced to 55 months, or just over four and a half years, in prison on a felony charge stemming from his actions during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

According to court documents, Joshua Pruitt, 40, formerly of Washington, D.C., was in the process of joining the Proud Boys and attended a rally with members of the group on Jan. 6.

At approximately 12:30 p.m., he began marching from the area of the rally to the Capitol. At about 2:10 p.m., he was illegally on the restricted grounds of the Northwest Lawn. He was wearing a tactical glove with knuckle pads. 

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He saw rioters push through a line of law enforcement officers and advance up the stairs to the Upper West Terrace. Pruitt followed them, using a piece of fencing as a makeshift ladder to climb on onto the stairs.

Pruitt advanced up the stairs and toward the Capitol building. He leaped over a railing before entering the Capitol through the Senate Wing Door at approximately 2:14 p.m. He threw a wooden sign, and he was one of the first rioters to enter the Crypt.

After rioters breached the police line in the Crypt, Pruitt moved toward the Capitol Visitor’s Center. There, he picked up a chair and tossed it. He then continued in the direction of the Senate subway.

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Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and his security detail – who had evacuated from the Senate Chamber -- walked up a ramp toward the elevators in the northern part of the Visitor’s Center. A member of the security detail saw Pruitt approaching. As a result, Senator Schumer and his security detail reversed course, running away from the elevator and back down the ramp.

Pruitt climbed out a window to leave the building at approximately 2:52 p.m. He was arrested the night of Jan. 6 for violating a curfew in place in Washington, and federal charges were filed against him the next day.

Pruitt pleaded guilty on June 3, 2022, to a charge of obstruction of an official proceeding. Following his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release. He also must pay $2,000 in restitution.

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In the 19 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 860 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 260 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.