Man Who Assaulted Officers on Jan. 6 Sentenced to Over 1 Year in Prison

Joshua Portlock was sentenced to 20 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, after pleading guilty.
Man Who Assaulted Officers on Jan. 6 Sentenced to Over 1 Year in Prison
In this file image from a video, Joshua Portlock tries to wrest away a barricade from law enforcement officers in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Department of Justice via The Epoch Times)
Zachary Stieber

A Tennessee man who admitted to assaulting law enforcement officers on Jan. 6, 2021, was sentenced on April 17 to more than one year in prison.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, handed down a sentence of 20 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release to Joshua Portlock during a hearing in federal court in Washington.

Mr. Portlock, 42, was also ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution.

The Smyrna resident was charged with eight counts. In 2023, he pleaded guilty to assaulting, resisting, or impeding law enforcement officers, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of eight years, in exchange for the other counts being dropped.

Click here to watch the full documentary “The Real Story of January 6 Part 2: The Long Road Home”

According to a stipulation entered as part of the plea, Mr. Portlock “was among those who unlawfully entered the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and assaulted law enforcement officers on January 6, 2021.”

After Mr. Portlock took a barricade from officers, he picked up a sheet of plywood and used it to shove officers backward. Mr. Portlock and others forced the officers to abandon the area, the document says.

Mr. Portlock later joined the crowd attempting to breach the entrance to the Capitol known as the Lower West Terrace Tunnel. While there, he passed two stolen police shields to other people, according to the document. He also joined in a “‘heave-ho’ effort to push past the law enforcement officers protecting the entrance,” it states.

Mr. Portlock was identified by authorities based on a tip from a former coworker, who saw his picture on the FBI’s website. Another former coworker and Mr. Portlock’s 18-year-old son confirmed his identity.

Under sentencing guidelines, Mr. Porter faced 24 to 30 months in prison. The guidelines take into account factors such as acceptance of responsibility and criminal history, or lack thereof.

As Mr. Porter had no criminal past, his lawyers asked Judge Nichols to sentence him to a term of imprisonment below the guidelines range.

Among other “mitigating factors,” they wrote in a sentencing memorandum, Mr. Porter “did not use a weapon” while assaulting officers. They also said that Mr. Portlock, apart from Jan. 6, “has lived an exemplary life centered around work and family.”

“Mr. Portlock has great regret for his actions on January 6. One can see from Mr. Portlock’s life choices that he is not the type of person to engage in riotous behavior or assault police. He certainly did not come to the nation’s capital that day with the expectation that he would break the law. A sentence of 24 to 30 months of imprisonment is far greater than necessary to achieve the purposes of sentencing,” they said.

Prosecutors, on the other hand, asked for 27 months of incarceration.

Mr. Portlock’s actions were “part of a massive riot that almost succeeded in preventing the certification vote from being carried out, frustrating the peaceful transition of presidential power, and throwing the United States into a constitutional crisis,” they said in a sentencing memo.

While Mr. Portlock has pleaded guilty, they said he “has not expressed any remorse for his crime. A sentence of 27 months, they also wrote, would ”deter Portlock from ever again participating in a riot like the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.”

New Arrest

Authorities, meanwhile, arrested a Pennsylvania man over alleged actions he took on Jan. 6.

Joshua Atwood, 31, was arrested on Wednesday, according to unsealed court documents.

Mr. Atwood was charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon and eight other counts.

He allegedly threw a bottle that struck an officer on Jan. 6, according to court documents. He is also accused of hurling a long silver pole at officers and striking multiple officers with a wooden pole.

Mr. Atwood was allegedly heard on body camera video saying that officers are “all pieces of [expletive]” and were “betraying your country,” charging documents state.

Mr. Atwood did not have an attorney listed on the docket.

Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]