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Athol Y'all Quedist who was turned in by his own townspeople gets nearly six years for attacking cops in failed Capitol coup

Athol man trying to drag cop into the mob.

Athol man trying to drag cop into the mob. Surveillance photo via FBI.

A federal judge in Washington, DC today sentenced Vincent J. Gillespie, 61, of Athol, to 68 months in prison for ramming cops with their own riot shields on Jan. 6, pulling one of the cops towards the surging mob as another protester beat him with a crutch and screaming at the police in his way that they were traitors.

Gillespie was so hated in his hometown that he was turned in by several townspeople not long after the FBI released photos of him at the Capitol. The people who contacted the FBI included a former neighbor, a manager at the hardware store he shopped at and three municipal workers for Athol - a town he railed against for installing parking meters downtown. He was arrested Feb. 18.

In a sentencing memorandum urging Judge Beryl Howell to sentence Gillespie to 87 months, federal prosecutors summed up the case against Gillespie, who was convicted by a federal jury on five of eight counts: Assaulting police officers, interfering with police officers during civil disorder, engaging in physical violence in a restricted federal building and committing federal violence in the Capitol.

Gillespie fought his way through the crowd to make it all the way to the police line at the entrance of the tunnel. As other rioters turned away, Gillespie pressed on.

While in the tunnel, Gillespie used police riot shields, controlling different police riot shields at different points in time, both offensively to push his way forward to the police line to get into the Capitol, and defensively, to prevent the police from fending him off. Gillespie can be seen assaulting Sergeant Riley, using both hands to grab Riley to pull him out into the mob. While restraining Sergeant Riley, he could not fend off assaults from other rioters (such as the rioter who used a crutch to hit Sergeant Riley) ... Video exhibits and testimony showed that Gillespie restrained Sergeant Riley for at least seven seconds. While assaulting Sergeant Riley, Gillespie restrained Sergeant Riley's movements such that Sergeant Riley was unable to stop the attack on him by another rioter, who hit Sergeant Riley with a crutch as Gillespie restrained Sergeant Riley. Sergeant Riley also described in testimony his inability to move because Gillespie was pulling him so forcefully by the arm. Immediately after the assault, Sergeant Riley can be seen re-entering the Capitol appearing disoriented.

After Gillespie assaulted Sergeant Riley, he gained control of a police riot shield again. Gillespie controlled the shield for nearly three minutes, and used it offensively, raising the shield high and then slamming it down.

Gillespie admitted during his testimony at trial that while inside the tunnel, he tried pushing against the police to gain entry to the Capitol. He further admitted that when he realized that was an ineffective strategy, he decided to pull officers individually, with the aim of separating them from each other to break the police line.

After assaulting Sergeant Riley, and while in the tunnel, Gillespie screamed "traitor" and "treason" at the police. ... Gillespie then kept moving closer toward the doors of the Capitol and was inside the tunnel for approximately fifteen minutes. Gillespie only left the tunnel after police physically forced him out.

Gillespie's attorney, though, said his client was a simple man who just happened to get caught up in the tide of events, and that he deserved no more than 30 months in prison.

He said Gillespie did not wield the police shields as dangerous weapons because he did not intend to hurt anybody with them.

He did not target or pin any officer; instead, his was an ill-conceived and ill-defined rush to move past the officers. Importantly, Gillespie did leverage additional force, either his own or of others, to amplify the potential injury as McCaughey. In short, there is simply no support that Gillespie's use of the riot shield rendered it an instrument capable of inflicting death or serious bodily injury and the cross-reference is unsupported.

And he gave his version of what happened after Gillespie, his then housemate and two friends spent the night driving down to DC:

he rally was largely a bust for Mr. Gillespie because he could not hear the speeches. He and the group he was with decided to leave, following the then-marching crowd down to the Capitol. They arrived well after the initial breaches of the Capitol had occurred. The group made their way up to and on temporary scaffolding where they remained for some time. Mr. Gillespie ventured on toward and into the Lower West Terrace Tunnel where, over the next 15-20 minutes, he engaged with officers by (1) running into the phalanx of officers with a riot shield held in front of him (after watching another rioter do the same), (2) ineffectually grabbing the arm of Sergeant Paul Riley, (3) shouting "traitor" and "treason" (after watching yet another rioter do the same), and finally (4) participating in a scrum of rioters pushing and being pushed toward the Lower West Terrace entrance doors to the Capitol. The rioters were expelled from the Tunnel withing a few minutes, with Gillespie taking several blows by baton to the head. He abandoned any further efforts to enter the Capitol. After answering questions posed by an AP stringer, he reunited with his friends and drove back to Massachusetts, arriving late at night.

In the following days, weeks, and months, Mr. Gillespie did not post about his participation in the January 6 events on social media or otherwise extoll the events of January 6 or laud his participation in them.

Gillespie, "a man of causes that occasionally evolve into obsession," is unlikely to ever do anything like this again, the attorney continued.

An unusual childhood morphed into an adult life first featuring introspection and spiritual searching. He settled down in later years and has lives exceedingly modestly, choosing instead to devote time and resources to myriad projects and causes that reflected is skepticism of the role of government action an individual lives while at the same time striving for the perceived greater good of the community. ... As his cousin, Kim Bonavita, described him to the Probation Department, Mr. Gillespie is "frugal, serious, brutally honest, very eccentric, fair, caring and a great sense of humor."

With no immediate family or significant other, Mr. Gillespie leads a simple, largely monastic life in rural Massachusetts. He does not own a television, and until recently did not have internet access at his home, preferring instead to engage in community by driving to coffee shops and grocery stores to log on to news and other websites for some part of his days. His clothing is from thrift stores and overstock suppliers. He drives twenty to thirty-year-old cars in dubious repair. He does not travel internationally, and what travel he does do within the United States is purpose-driven rather than for leisure.

Government sentencing recommendation (2.4M PDF).
Defense sentencing recommendation (325k PDF).

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Drink it up, folks!
Here's a question for anybody reading this that may actually be for Trump:
If the J6th protesters are truly innocent "guided tourists" of the Capitol that day, why didn't Trump pardon every one of them? He had two weeks left in office.
He pardoned other people, most notably Steve Bannon ahead of his upcoming troubles concerning theft of millions of dollars from that Secure the Border private fund.
Priorities, I guess. The good innocent "guided tourists" aren't important to him.
Anybody got an opinion on that?

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Everything he does is transactional. With Bannon he easily sees that he will get a personal benefit to giving him the pardon by allowing him to keep spouting his nonsense on a public forum.

The J6 rioters are just a commodity to him. He thinks that the mass of his supporters are like water from the tap where there's just an endless supply of them always available so there was no reason for him to pardon them when they are effectively disposable.

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my question is posed for Trump supporters that may be lurking around here and, if those J6th folks are truly innocent, why didn't he pardon them?
He did say that if he's elected in 2024 he "might" pardon them. That kinda puts their fate in the hands of the voters. Thinking on those lines, that's like saying, "I will pardon those innocent people - who I should've pardoned already anyway - IF you put me back in office. If you want to free them, be sure I'm elected." What a slimeball, huh?

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“This looks terrible. This is really bad. Who are these people? These aren’t our people, these idiots with these outfits. They look like Democrats.” Trump is reported to have disparagingly referred to his supporters as “the great unwashed,” and is said to have joked that he should invest in a line of tattoo parlors for MAGAists.

From - , Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency
By - Michael Wolff

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An "Athol" from Athol.

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Well, I was not and am not "for Trump", but...

It seems to me that one possibility would be that narrative could go something like (a) it was so evident that they were innocent guided tourists (that our Justice system would immediately get things "correct" - 100% not guilty of all charges and arrest the fake news people causing all of this) that he didn't need to take a hand in it; and/or (b) HE is an innocent man and has nothing to hide and the best thing is to let the investigations expose the real instigators without looking like he's protecting something.

Well, that narrative would require him to be capable of strategic cunning, and subtlety. Which he just isn't. He just keeps telling the same lie long enough until diminishing returns and then on to the next lie.

So, yeah, "he doesn't give a damn about anyone else" is the working theory.
After all, he doesn't care about paying contract and professional help a lot of the time - why would he care about some dupes who are willing to volunteer (and even pay for) the privilege?

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I grew up in Western Mass, and played field hockey against Athol. They were known through out the league as the dirtiest players. When the ref was watching the action down field, Barb Marie would take a big wind-up and crack your ankles just to let you know who was boss. Also, they never won.
But now Athol has a Market Basket and a 110 Grill, so maybe the gentrification is forcing that casual attitude for violence onto a national stage.

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Ummm sorry but I do not believe that to be an accurate statement.

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You haven't been to Athol, obviously :-(

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without telling me you've never been to Athol.

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Whatcha got on Greenfield and Easthampton, where, according to the Globe, Gillespie lived before he moved to Athol?

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Or if there's a Market Basket, Stop & Shop or a Piggly Wiggly. Lock the guy up.

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Well, Athol folks turned this one in…

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Kind of a funny line from Gillespie's attorney:

He does not travel internationally, and what travel he does do within the United States is purpose-driven rather than for leisure.

Yes, and based on his actions here, maybe when he gets out he should consider a little less "purpose-driven travel"? Go see the Grand Canyon or something.

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is what got him in trouble.

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When protests turn into riots and innocents get hurt the fools get what they deserve.

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absolutely and per capita.

and this is part of the reason why.

Unless this guy's got serious prior criminal convictions or Sgt. Riley was seriously injured, five-and-a-half years is insanely punitive for a 61-year-old. Maybe a life sentence.

and it's the well-known "trial penalty," where exercising your right to a jury trial means quintupling the sentence or more.

Gillespie was so hated in his hometown that he was turned in by several townspeople

Is there evidence of him being hated? There's plenty of historical evidence that plenty of people are informers and reward-seekers.

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It is the systematic replacement of minority enslavement using the carceral state.

And, somehow, you wanting to imprison doctors on the accusations of blackmailers and/or for providing medical care to children in ways that you don't like doesn't seem to enter into your calculus.

But do keep trying to miss the point and engage in bad faith arguments in service of your wackjob delusional worldview.

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Des, peddle you papers elsewhere, participation in a violent attempt to short-circuit the democratic process and install Herr Trump as president for life (or anyone for that matter) deserves the harshest punishment allowed by law. Doesn't matter if the perp is some quirky throwback, he knew what he was doing, so consequences. No quarter to any J6ers that marched to, instigated or otherwise supported the attempted coup, they could have walked away when they saw what was about to happen, but they didn't and now they need to own it.

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You can't see this deluded old man as a person, or systemic issues of cruelty in sentencing.

It's only a foil for your ideological ranting.

Like a Red Guard in the Cultural Revolution

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I see him as a felon guilty of aggravated assault against a police officer, committed in insurrection against the US Government.

Your flopping, insincere, bad-faith histrionics aside.

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his prison sentence. Since when did belief in the rule of law become a partisan issue? You're a ludicrous troll, deselby.

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Classic Fascism uses the "rule of law" as a weapon against people who do not support the dominant power structure, not as something that applies to all equally.

Hence the desire imprison doctors and others that he doesn't like with creative application of vague laws while "showing mercy" to murderous traitors with clear evidence of violent actions who happen to support his "team".

And the bizarre allusion to a fictitious "enemy of the state" ala McCarthy for anyone who believes that fucking around should mean finding out.

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Save it for a stupider, more credulous group of people, like your superhappyfun cohort and other suchlike CHUDs.

Maybe posting a Gateway Pundit article can help you out here.

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You can't see this deluded old man as a person

On the contrary, I do see him as a person. And I expect people to be responsible for their actions, and to face the consequences if they do wrong.

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WTAF does that have to do with anything? This asshole was caught on video assaulting cops as a part of an effort to subvert the peaceful transfer of Presidential power.

Throw away the key on this anti-American shit-heel.

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