A Jan. 6 rioter who carried two loaded handguns onto the grounds of the US Capitol during the riot was sentenced to 60 months in prison on Friday after pleading guilty to assaulting an officer and illegally carrying a firearm that day.
Mark Mazza, 56, entered the Capitol grounds armed with two handguns, one of which – a revolver called the “Judge” loaded with shotgun shells and blanks – discharged on the lower west terrace outside the building.
After losing his gun, Mazza joined the mob in a tunnel leading into the Capitol, where rioters armed with bats, batons, chemical sprays and officer’s weapons were brutally attacked for hours at a scene.
During the attack, Mazza – who was still armed with his second gun, according to prosecutors – grabbed an officer’s baton and used it on him.
“This is our blow house!” Mazza yelled after assaulting the officer, according to his plea agreement. “We own this house! We want our house! Get out of the way of the citizens of the United States!’
Dressed in a forest-green jail jumpsuit, Mazza told Judge James Boasberg on Friday that he “got caught up in the mentality of people that I never anticipated.”
“I’m not quite the monster” the government “painted me out to be,” Mazza added, saying he never intended to fight the police that day and left the tunnel as soon as he realized what he was doing was wrong. Mazza also said he helped other officers out of the tunnel.
“The story you have to tell is a well-known one,” Boasberg told Mazza, and “it was people like you who made the decisions to attack the Capitol in a real rebellion.”
Boasberg added that he was “alarmed” that Mazza brought two firearms and, while Mazza said he was armed because he had heard that Washington, DC, was the “murder capital,” the mall and the Capitol building are not dangerous areas.
Before sentencing, Mazza pleaded for mercy again, telling the judge he still “hopes I’ll see my parents again.”
Mazza will also have to pay a $2,000 fine for damage to the Capitol.