Judge’s Latest Refusal to Grant Bail Looms Large for Jan. 6 Defendant Maced Twice by DC Jail Guard

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U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan has referred to Ronald C. McAbee as a ‘terrorist’ who committed ‘insurrection’

Despite audio and video evidence showing former Tennessee sheriff’s deputy Ronald Colton McAbee did not assault a police officer on the Capitol steps on Jan. 6 as alleged by prosecutors, a federal judge again refused the defendant’s motion to be released from the District of Columbia jail pending trial.

The issue took on added urgency on Sept. 5 when McAbee, 28, was twice assaulted with chemical spray by a guard in the District of Columbia jail for not wearing a COVID mask, his wife Sarah told The Epoch Times

“This is just inhumane,” Sarah McAbee said. “It doesn’t even matter what your political beliefs are. You should never treat somebody that way.

“Are we living in the same universe?” she asked. “This is not the America I once knew.”

McAbee is charged by federal prosecutors with seven Jan. 6-related crimes: assaulting, resisting, or impeding a federal officer; two counts of 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; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, and committing an act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings.

McAbee was outside the Lower West Terrace tunnel during some of the worst violence on Jan. 6, 2021. Several times, he tried to render lifesaving aid to a dying Rosanne Boyland, 34, of Kennesaw, Georgia. His interactions with Metropolitan Police Department officers resulted in most of the charges. They also served as justification for a U.S. District Court judge to reverse a Tennessee judge’s order and keep McAbee in jail for 397 days—and counting.

Pepper Spray for Not Masking

Ronald McAbee walked out of his cell at the D.C. Central Treatment Facility about 11:30 a.m. EDT on Sept. 5 to retrieve his medication from a cart in the hallway, his wife said.

Lieutenant Crystal Lancaster shouted at him to put on a COVID mask, Sarah McAbee said. When he continued to walk toward the cart without a mask, the guard sprayed him point-blank in the face with oleoresin capsicum (OC), a harsh chemical irritant that burns the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.

“She sprayed him and he was like, ‘Did you really just spray me?’ ” Sarah McAbee said. “[The Lieutenant] told another corporal in there to handcuff him. And as they were handcuffing him, she sprayed him again in the face. I mean inches away from his face. And they threw him on the ground.”

Three other Jan. 6 detainees—Ron Sandlin, Bart Shively, and Ryan Nichols— began shouting at Lancaster to stop the attack on McAbee, his wife said. Those men were also sprayed and handcuffed. All four were threatened with prosecution. McAbee was threatened with charges of assault and causing a riot, his wife said.

By Joseph M. Hanneman

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