Jan 17, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Proud Boys member who attacked at least 6 officers on Jan. 6 sentenced

The Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

A Florida Proud Boys member was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday for assaulting at least half a dozen law enforcement officers during the Capitol riot, the U.S. Attorney's Office for D.C. announced.

Of note: Kenneth "Bonawitz's attacks injured one officer, who was also a first responder to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack at the Pentagon, so severely that the officer has now been forced to retire from the United States Capitol Police," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

A man whom prosecutors identified as Kenneth Bonawitz is circled in red in a screen grab from a law enforcement body camera during the Jan. 6, 2021. U.S. Capitol riot.
A man whom prosecutors identified as Kenneth Bonawitz is circled in red in a screen grab from a law enforcement body camera during the Jan. 6, 2021. U.S. Capitol riot. Photo: Via FBI/DOJ

State of play: Bonawitz, 58, Pompano Beach, pleaded guilty last year to three felony charges, including civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting a law enforcement officer during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

  • Bonawitz, a member of the Miami chapter of the Proud Boys, was sentenced to 60 months in prison, 36 months of supervised release and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution and fines.
  • He was arrested on Jan. 26, 2023, in Florida.

Details: "Bonawitz, who came to the Capitol prepared for violence and armed with a knife, was one of the more violent January 6 rioters," prosecutors alleged, per the DOJ.

  • During the riot, Bonawitz was carrying the 8-inch hunting knife in a sheath attached to his belt, which was at some point confiscated by officers.
  • Bonawitz hurled himself at officers and tackled them to the ground.
  • He placed one in a chokehold and lifted the officer up by the neck, causing the officer to gag before struggling free of his grip, per the DOJ.

Go deeper: Nearly 1,300 arrests made since Jan. 6 attack

Go deeper