MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Washington man gets 7 years in prison for Jan. 6 Capitol riot actions

Apr 3, 2024, 7:38 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2024, 11:22 am

Photo: Violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump breach the U.S. Capitol in Washingt...

Violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump breach the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021. (File photo: John Minchillo, AP)

(File photo: John Minchillo, AP)

A man from the state of Washington was sentenced to prison Wednesday for his involvement in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot in 2021.

Taylor James Johnatakis, who is from Kingston, will be locked away for over seven years. He will also have to pay $2,000 in restitution, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice issued Wednesday.

Johnatak, 40, was found guilty on Nov. 21, 2023, of seven charges.

He was convicted of three felonies: obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers. He also was convicted with four misdemeanors: entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds and engaging in an act of physical violence in the grounds of any of the Capitol building.

Court documents say before the attack, Johnatakis posted several statements on social media indicating he would be part of the breach.

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Johnatakis posted on social media day before Capitol riot

On Jan. 5, 2021, Johnatakis posted “… and that’s why I am going to DC, to CHANGE the course of HISTORY #stopthesteal.” He also posted “(B)urn the city down. What the British did to DC will be nothing …”

According to the news release, Johnatakis attended the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 2021. After the rally, he marched to the U.S. Capitol with a megaphone in his hand. He then posted a video on social media saying, “Anyways, we’re walking over to the Capitol right now, and I don’t know, maybe we’ll break down the doors.”

Around 2:30 p.m., he made his way through the crowd on the West Front, where the inaugural stage was under construction.

“By then, rioters had flooded the area and were actively overpowering the police line,” stated the new release.

Johnatakis went to the front of the mob, yelling into his megaphone.

Officers on the line were overtaken by the rioters and forced to retreat under the scaffolding. According to court documents, Johnatakis led the charge under the scaffolding toward the police officers. He then marched up the southwest stairs and, using his megaphone, coordinated other rioters to assault the officers.

More on Jan. 6: ‘Republican Party is in danger,’ says Medved in response to Jan. 6 hearings

“Pack it in! Pack it in!” he shouted. He then told the crowd to push through the bike racks “one foot” at a time and counted “one, two, three, GO!”

Johnatakis and rioters then pushed the bike racks into the line of police, injuring one officer.

On Feb. 11, 2021, about five weeks after the riot, Johnatakis was arrested for his actions.

Washingtonians who have pleaded guilty for their actions in the Capitol riot

According to the news release, more than 1,350 people have been charged in nearly all 50 states for their connection to the attack.

Locally, a Puyallup man pled guilty in July 2022 to assaulting officers on the day of the riot. In addition, a Gig Harbor man was convicted in April 2023,

Also in 2023: An Auburn man was found guilty in May and a Lynnwood man pleaded guilty in July.

If anyone has have any tips about what happened on Jan. 6 or those connected, they are asked to call 1-800-225-5324 or visit the FBI’s website.

Julia Dallas is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read her stories here. Follow Julia on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email her here.

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