LAKELAND, Fla. – Joshua Christopher Doolin, 25, of Lakeland, Florida, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols Wednesday to 18 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release.
Doolin was charged with four offenses, including one felony, committed during the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot.
Doolin was found guilty on March 15, 2023, following a bench trial before U.S. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols of civil disorder, a felony, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, and theft of government property.
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According to the government’s evidence, Doolin traveled with a group of family members and friends to Washington, D.C., to attend a rally at the ellipse. Court documents say that prior to making the trip, Doolin contemplated bringing a semi-automatic rifle but changed his mind at the last minute.
At the rally, Doolin told a friend that, “We are just waiting on word to go to the capital!!!” When his friend responded, “Don’t get killed on your birthday bro,” Doolin texted, “I wouldn’t mind dying with my family storming the capital [sic] on my birthday!”
According to investigators, about two hours later, Doolin did storm the Capitol. With members of his group, he approached the Capitol from the southwest. They crossed the restricted perimeter that the U.S. Capitol Police and U.S. Secret Service had established around the Capitol building and portions of the Capitol grounds. Doolin filmed the group’s approach on his cellphone and narrated as he filmed, observing that it “sounds like the cops are shooting rubber bullets and macing people.” By 1:56 p.m., Doolin’s group was on the south side of the West Plaza, where police had established a line to prevent the mob from advancing further.
Shortly after 2 p.m., Doolin made his way to the front of the mob. Doolin watched and filmed as his friends and other rioters attacked the police line, charging at and slamming into the officers and fighting with officers. Doolin himself was sprayed with chemical spray.
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When the police line broke, and the officers fell back, Doolin and his fellow rioters surged forward towards a set of steps leading to the inaugural stage.
From there, Doolin celebrated what they had accomplished. As he filmed rioters streaming up the steps, he cheered, “now it’s ours, and we’re taking our Capitol back. We’re taking our Capitol back, baby!”
By approximately 3:45 p.m., Doolin had stolen a U.S. Capitol Police riot shield that he would carry with him for the rest of the day. He filmed a video on the Upper West Terrace of himself holding the stolen shield, proclaiming, “I got a riot shield!”
Investigators say a half an hour later, Doolin was again on the Lower West Terrace, where he joined the crowd pushing against police in the narrow entranceway known as “The Tunnel” connecting the inaugural stage to the Capitol building itself.
There he tried to break the line that was keeping the rioters from entering the Capitol. Doolin used the riot shield to press forward with the mob, lending his force and weight to their efforts.
Doolin left the vicinity of the tunnel shortly before 5:00 p.m., still carrying the stolen riot shield, now with an American flag draped over it.
On June 30, 2021, FBI agents arrested Doolin in Lakeland, Florida.
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