A New York man will spend years in prison for assaulting police and taking a smoke break during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol.
Long Island resident Greg Rubenacker, age 26, of Farmingdale in Nassau County, has been sentenced to 41 months in prison on multiple charges linked to the breach of the Capitol last year to disrupt a session of Congress that was validating the presidential election.
According to federal prosecutors, Rubenacker confronted multiple law enforcement officers inside the Capitol Building during the riot, posting his exploits on social media.
Officials said that Rubenacker entered the building shortly before 2:15 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, recording a video in which he exclaimed “This is history! We took the Capitol.”
He was in a crowd that was yelling “where are they counting the votes” and eventually chased a US Capitol Police officer securing the area.
Rubenacker left the building at 2:21 p.m., prosecutors said, but returned 21 minutes later through the Rotunda Door.
While in the Rotunda, he smoked marijuana, recording another video that he later posted on social media with the caption, “Smoke out the Capitol, baby.”
Prosecutors said that Rubenacker resisted officers’ attempts to remove people from the Rotunda, and at approximately 3:08 p.m., he swung a plastic bottle at one of the officers' head and sprayed water from his bottle at police attempting to calm the situation.
Rubenacker was arrested on Feb. 9, 2021, in Farmingdale, and he pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Feb. 22 this year to all charges in a 10-count indictment that included:
- Assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers;
- Civil disorder;
- Obstructing an official proceeding;
- Committing an act of physical violence on the Capitol grounds.
In addition to his prison sentence, Rubenacker was also ordered by a judge to pay $2,000 in restitution and will serve three years of supervised release when he is let out of prison.
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