Santa Clara Man Pleads Guilty to Felony in Capitol Attack

A Santa Clara man pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge related to his conduct during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Patrick Allen Bournes, 60, pleaded guilty in U. S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to one count of civil disorder, a felony, and will be sentenced in June.

“His actions and the actions of others disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the 2020 presidential election,” federal prosecutors said in a press release.

According to court documents, on Jan. 6, 2021, Bournes was among a mob that confronted law enforcement officers near the Lower West Terrace Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol. The tunnel was created by the construction of a stage for the upcoming Presidential Inauguration and was the site of some of the most violent attacks against law enforcement on Jan. 6.

Over the course of more than two hours, members of the mob threw items at police, struck police with items, sprayed police with chemical irritants, pushed against the police, and stole items from the police defending the tunnel.

At approximately 3pm, prosecutors said Bournes entered the tunnel and made his way through the crowd toward the police line. At one point, while inside the tunnel, Bournes reached his arm up and helped to push a police shield back from the police line and out toward the mob of rioters.

After reaching the police line, Bournes stood among other individuals and aided as the group physically pressed against the police line. “Even when other rioters were leaving the tunnel, Bournes fought to stay in and continued to press forward against the police line in a concerted effort,” prosecutors said.

Court documents say that at one point, while still in the Tunnel and near the police line, Bournes appeared to shout, “Traitors!” multiple times in the direction of the police. He then moved closer to the police line and stood near the location of a “shield wall” which had been made by other rioters using multiple stolen U.S. Capitol Police shields. Shortly after the “shield wall” was established, Bournes moved behind a shield with another individual and used it to press against the crowd, who, in turn, pressed against law enforcement officers.

In the 37 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,313 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 469 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony.

Three decades of journalism experience, as a writer and editor with Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Lee newspapers, as a business journal editor and publisher and as a weekly newspaper editor in Scotts Valley and Gilroy; with the Weeklys group since 2017. Recipient of several first-place writing and editing awards, California News Publishers Association.

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