MAGA-rioting Three Percenter pleads guilty to assaulting DC Metro police officer with a pole
Lucas Denney (right) poses with Sen. Ted Cruz at a townhall in Texas in August. (credit: PatriotBoys.net)

A Texas Three Percenter militia leader is pleading guilty to assaulting an DC Metropolitan police officer on the US Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021.

Lucas Denney, the 44-year-old president of the Patriot Boys militia, admitted in federal court on Thursday that he forcibly struck an officer with a PVC pole during a skirmish between pro-Trump rioters and officers in front of the Capitol.

According to a statement of offense submitted by the government today, rioters were throwing debris at the police and Denney worked his way through the crowd attempted to grab a canister of crowd-control spray from the officer who was periodically deploying it. Then, after retreating into the crowd for about a minute, Denney picked up the PVC pole off the ground and swung it at the officer.

Soon afterwards, according to the government, Denney picked up a large tube and launched it into a line of officers guarding the west side of the Capitol building. The incident prompted online sleuths to give Denney the moniker #PoleTosser.

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Before Denney entered his plea on Thursday, Assistant US Attorney Jennifer Rozzoni told Judge Randolph Moss that the government has not decided whether to pursued additional charges against Denney related to the Jan. 6 assault on the US Capitol. Although the indictment includes only the single charge of assaulting an officer, the initial complaint included several other offenses, including conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.

Donald Hazard, described as the sergeant of arms of the Patriot Boys, was also charged with conspiracy alongside Denney, although Hazard has waived his rights under the Speedy Trial Act.

Denney indicated during his plea hearing on Thursday that he was surprised to learn that by pleading to the single assault charge he wasn’t foreclosing on the possibility that the government could come back with additional charges.

“I didn’t know that, no sir,” Denney told Judge Moss.

Moss declared a recess so that Denney could confer with his lawyers for about 20 minutes before proceeding with the pleading.

Denney’s lawyer, Bill Shipley, interrupted Moss while the judge was warning the defendant that he could still face legal jeopardy. Shipley, a former prosecutor, told Moss that the appellate courts are currently split on whether the government can bring additional charges in cases similar to this one, adding that the DC circuit has not addressed it, and the US Supreme Court has declined to resolve the matter.

Denney’s case is complicated by the fact that the government admitted to violating his rights under the Speedy Trial Act and hastily obtained an indictment for a single charge to prevent the defendant’s release and the dismissal of charges.

Regardless of whether the government brings additional charges, Denney acknowledged on Thursday that the court could consider uncharged conduct when he comes back for sentencing in June. Denney acknowledged that his sentence could be enhanced because the victim is an official and because he brandished a dangerous weapon, while he could receive a reduction because he is accepting responsibility and because he has no criminal history.

The defense and government have submitted varying estimates of the prison time and fines Denney will face, based on different interpretations of the sentencing guidelines. The defense estimated Denney could serve 41 to 51 months in prison with a fine ranging from $15,000 to $100,000, while the government estimated that it could range from 57 to 71 months while the fine could range from $20,000 to $200,000.