A District of Columbia man was sentenced today to 63 months in prison for assaulting law enforcement officers during the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol – the same deal he refused to accept last July.
Mark Ponder, 56, received the longer-than-usual sentence among the rioters after pleading guilty April 22 to assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon, the Department of Justice announced today. Following his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release. He also must pay $2,000 in restitution.
The DOJ stated that “Ponder ran out from the crowd and swung a long, thin pole at a U.S. Capitol Police officer. The officer protected himself by raising his riot shield above his head. Ponder’s pole struck the riot shield and broke in two, with part of the pole flying off to the side.”
After retreating into the crowd, the report said, “Ponder re-armed himself with a new, thicker pole that was colored with red, white, and blue stripes. He swung (it) and banged it against the ground in a menacing manner. Then, as the police officers advanced to move the crowd, Ponder wildly swung the pole at the advancing police line, striking an officer in the left shoulder.”
Last year, Buzz Feed had reported, “After he was restrained by MPD officers and escorted away from the Capitol grounds, Ponder allegedly repeatedly shouted to other rioters “Hold the line!” and “Do not give up!”
Ponder had rejected a deal similar to the one he ultimately plead to April, as reported July 22, 2021 by Raw Story.