NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A former employee with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office was found guilty this week of five felony charges related to his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol.
Ronald Colton McAbee, 29, of Unionville, was convicted of all charges against him following the conclusion of a jury trial in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, Oct. 11, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in a press release.
The charges against him include assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers; civil disorder; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
McAbee also pleaded guilty last month to a separate felony charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding an officer and a misdemeanor charge for an act of physical violence on the Capitol grounds.
According to the government’s evidence, on Jan. 6, 2021, officers with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) responded to the U.S. Capitol building to assist the U.S. Capitol Police in maintaining the security of the Capitol after a crowd disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that had convened to count the electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election.
At around 4:30 p.m., MPD officers made their way to an interior tunnel of the Capitol building, where they assumed a post in an archway that provided access to the building’s Lower West Terrace.
As the officers arrived, the DOJ said hundreds of individuals gathered outside of the archway, some reportedly throwing and swinging various makeshift weapons at the group of officers. At around 4:27 p.m., an MPD officer was knocked to the ground and stripped of his baton.
Authorities said McAbee was positioned on the south side of the archway and was able to see the incident. He then stepped into the archway, grabbed the officer’s leg and pulled him further toward the crowd, according to the DOJ.
When a second MPD officer stepped off the police line to assist the downed officer, officials said McAbee stood up, yelled at the officer who had stepped down to assist and then “swung his arms and hands toward the officer’s head and torso.”
The DOJ reported that McAbee made contact with the officer and was wearing “reinforced knuckle gloves” at the time. He then returned his attention to the downed officer and lifted him by the torso and shoulders.
That caused McAbee and the officer to slide down a set of steps. After they landed at the bottom, authorities said McAbee laid on top of the officer while other members of the crowd “assailed the officer for over 20 seconds.”
The officer sustained physical injuries, including a head laceration, concussion, elbow injury, bruising, and bodily abrasions. After he was finally able to get up, the officer worked his way back to the archway and was taken to a hospital to be treated for his injuries.
McAbee was arrested in connection with the assault on Aug. 17, 2021, in Nashville. Judge Contreras will sentence McAbee on Feb. 29, 2024, after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
In the 33 months since Jan. 6, 2021, the DOJ said more than 1,100 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.