Watch CBS News

Colorado man sentenced to 5+ years in prison for Jan. 6 assaults

A Colorado man who deleted his social media posts, soaked his cell phone in water, and microwaved his laptop in an attempt to destroy evidence of his actions during the Jan. 6 insurrection was sentenced last week to more than five years in federal prison. 

Jeffrey Sabol, 53, of Kittredge, received a prison term of 63 months. He was also ordered to pay more than $32,000 in restitution and undergo three years of supervised probation once he is released from prison. 

A Washington D.C. judge convicted Sabol last August of three felonies at the end of a bench trial. Sabol convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding, assault or and impeding certain officers with a dangerous weapon, and robbery. 

A red circle identifies Colorado's Jeffrey Sabol engaging police officers on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 in a still image taken from police officer's bodycam video.  U.S. Department of Justice

According to a case document and a press release from the U.S. District Attorney's Office in D.C., Sabol drove to the "Stop The Steal" event at the nation's capital with a group of friends who described themselves as a "neighborhood watch" group. Sabol packed a helmet, a trauma kit, a buck knife, and zip ties for the trip. The group used Sabol's radios to communicate between members. 

During his trial, prosecutors produced several images of a man dressed in a brown Carhart jacket and teal backpack battling Metropolitan Police Department officers at the Capitol that day. That person wrestled a baton from the grasp of one officer who was lying on his back. 

"Sabol used such force...that the officer's torso was lifted off the ground, and Sabol himself fell backward down the steps of the Lower West Terrace," as stated in the press release.

In an image taken from a police officer's bodycam video, a man later identified as Jeffrey Sabol of Colorado wrestles a police baton from the officer's grip.    U.S. Department of Justice

A court document states that officer, identified only by the initials A.W., suffered a head laceration which required staples.

Other images showed that same person in the Carhart jacket helping to drag another officer down the steps and into the crowd of protesters. There, the officer was beaten with a flagpole and Officer A.W.'s baton. That officer's injuries were not serious.

A police officer is dragged into the crowd of protesters on Jan. 6, 2021. A red circle denotes the position of a man later identified as Jeffrey Sabol of Colorado. U.S. Department of Justice

"Sabol acknowledged that the video seemed to depict him throwing punches at the police officer," the case document described, "but he claims he was 'patting him on the back' and saying 'we got you man.' Once at the bottom of the stairs, Sabol claims he 'covered the police officer for his own safety' while others hit the police officer with poles."

Sabol admitted to investigators that was indeed he in the images. 

Aside from trying to destroy evidence, Sabol also bought an airline ticket to Switzerland. He was unable to board the flight, according to prosecutors, and instead rented a car and drove from Colorado to New York. FBI agents arrested him in Westchester, New York, on Jan. 11, 2021, less than a week after the incident at the capital. 

Sabol, according to his arrest affidavit, was covered in blood due to lacerations on his thighs and arms. Sabol allegedly made several statements to law enforcement at the time of his arrest: "My wounds are self-inflicted", I was "fighting tyranny in the DC Capital (sic)", and "I am wanted by the FBI." .

Sabol faced between 97 and 121 months imprisonment according to sentencing guidelines regarding the counts on which he was convicted. His defense attorney asked the court to impose a sentence of 42 months. That attorney said Sabol saw his photo on a television newscast about the Jan. 6 incident and panicked, and that Sabol's injuries at the time of his arrest were at least partially due to an attempted suicide. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.