Proud Boy who encountered Chuck Schumer in Jan. 6 riots sentenced to 55 months in prison

Joshua Pruitt, a 40-year-old member of the Proud Boys was sentenced to 55 months in prison for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the Capitol which included an encounter with Sen. Chuck Schumer. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI

Aug. 30 (UPI) — A member of the Proud Boys who crossed paths with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer during the Capitol riots was sentenced to about 4.5 years in prison on Monday.

Joshua Pruitt, 40, was sentenced to 55 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release on Monday after he pleaded guilty in June to obstructing an official proceeding.

A member of Schumer’s Capitol Police security team said in an impact statement that Pruitt approached the New York Democrat with “intent to inflict harm” as officers were forced to quickly escort him in the opposite direction.

“It was only due to our teams’ preplanning of alternate evacuations procedures and quick actions that this impending meeting did not result in blood shed or serious bodily injury,” the officer wrote.

Pruitt was also seen throwing a wooden sign across the U.S. Capitol crypt, facing off with police and throwing a chair in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center before confronting another group of rioters.

Federal sentencing guidelines suggested a sentence of 51-63 months in prison, partially due to his criminal history which includes convictions for assaulting police, cocaine possession and drunken driving.

“You were acting somewhat in concert with others,” U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly told Pruitt. “You did get into the building early, you did penetrate deeply into the building, you did damage property, you played a role in amping up the crowd, you did get very close to one of our national leaders.”

Pruitt worked as a bartender in Washington, D.C., until November 2020 when he was filmed being inducted into the Proud Boys by Chairman Enrique Tarrio and said he has been blacklisted from working in the D.C. restaurant business.

He told the judge Monday that he was “not happy that January 6th happened at all.”

“To be completely honest, I wish I’d have been watching it from a restaurant rather than participating in it,” he said. “Yes, I was wrong and I broke the laws, and I do apologize for that.”

Pruitt, however, said he still believed that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to President Joe Biden.

“I did believe the election was stolen. I still do,” he said.

Pruitt was not a full-fledged member of the Proud Boys at the time of the riots but expressed a desire to become one in messages to other members.

“I just want to do whatever needs to be done to be legit,” he wrote in the texts.

Robert Lee Jenkins, a court-appointed attorney for Pruitt, said that other members of the D.C.-Maryland area Proud Boys should be “very concerned” that they may also be prosecuted.

Tarrio and four others were indicted on seditious conspiracy charges in June for their roles in the riots and court documents filed in the case showed the group planned to occupy buildings on Capitol Hill that day.


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