In this screen grab from video, Patrick McCaughey of Ridgefield, is shown in the Lower West Terrace tunnel of the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. Federal prosecutors said he used a police riot shield to pin an officer to a door frame as a crowd of rioters in the tunnel fought with officers and tried to force their way into the building. Courtesy Of US Attorney's Office For The District Of Columbia

A Connecticut man is scheduled to be sentenced today in Washington, D.C., for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol.

Federal prosecutors said Patrick McCaughey, from Ridgefield, entered the U.S. Capitol after attending a rally held by former President Donald Trump. According to court documents, federal officials said McCaughey got a police riot shield and used it to pin an officer against a door frame while another rioter attacked the officer.

Prosecutors said police were trying to close doors to hold off rioters in a tunnel at the Capitol building. McCaughey was also accused of using the shield to hit another officer.

Before the attack, McCaughey had attended a “Stop the Steal” rally, where Trump urged his supporters to go to the Capitol after he lost the 2020 election. McCaughey followed the crowd there. Court filings show that McCaughey climbed the steps of scaffolding at the Capitol and took a selfie, which he sent to his friends in Connecticut.

“Several minutes later, McCaughey made his way down to the inaugural platform, and into the Lower West Terrace tunnel, the site of some of the fiercest fighting between members of the mob and the wholly outnumbered police officers,” according to the court filing.

Police said McCaughey pinned an officer against the door with a riot shield and moments later “used his shield to swipe at Officer Henry Foulds, landing blows on the officer’s arms as Officer Foulds attempted to close the tunnel door,” prosecutors wrote.

Lawyers for McCaughey said his actions were motivated by a misunderstanding about the 2020 election. They said that he listened to sources of information that were clearly false and that he knew next to nothing about the election.

“His actions inside the tunnel were limited to pushing officers with a riot shield — against their bodies, not their heads or helmets — and were only impactful due to the force of protestors who proceeded to push Mr. McCaughey into the line of officers. A sentence of 12 months’ incarceration is an appropriate sentence in this case,” a filing by McCaughey’s defense lawyer reads.

The defense said McCaughey learned valuable life lessons from the incident.

Federal prosecutors recommended that McCaughey receive a sentence of 15 or more years of incarceration.

This story was first published April 14, 2023 by Connecticut Public.