Capitol rioter incriminated by his own diary pleads guilty to assaulting police with a flagpole
Howard C. Richardson. (DOJ Photo)

A 71-year-old Pennsylvania man who documented his participation in the January 6 riot in his day planner has pleaded guilty to felony assault charges for striking Capitol police with a metal flagpole.

Howard C. Richardson of King of Prussia, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers and faces a recommended sentence of 37 to 45 months under federal sentencing guidelines. He is to be sentenced on Aug. 26.

As reported last December at Raw Story, FBI searching Richardson’s home found a day planner with entries that matched closely to video surveillance footage at the Capitol. He admitted the diary was his.

Richardson wrote that he parked at 11:00 a.m., was at the front of the Capitol building at 12: 15 p.m., "gates were breeched" at 1:00 p.m., "moving up to steps" at 1:30-1 :45 p.m., and "got pepper sprayed" at 2:00 p.m. He noted that he "started to leave" the Capitol at 3:30 p.m.”

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The FBI’s more conventional video evidence depicted Richardson in a group near the bicycle rack-style barricades outside the Capitol.

“At approximately 1:38 p.m., carrying a metal flagpole with a blue flag attached, he approached an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department. In the video, Richardson can be heard yelling, “here it comes,” before swiftly approaching the officer’s position and striking the officer with the flagpole three times. He only stopped swinging after the flagpole broke in his hands.”

The plea agreement states that the government was recommending as “appropriate” a 2-level reduction in federal sentencing guidelines. Aggravating factors in the calculation were the use of a dangerous weapon and an official victim. Richardson’s lack of a prior criminal history -- and agreement to plead guilty and cooperate -- factored in his favor.

The offense carries a statutory maximum of eight years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. The plea agreement also notes as estimated applicable fine range of $15,000 to $150,000 but notes, “your client reserves the right to ask the Court not to impose any applicable fine.”

You can read the FBI complaint against Richardson here.