Robert Reeder, of Harford County, Maryland, was sentenced to 90 days behind bars on Friday for his role in the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. He had originally described himself as an “accidental tourist” before video emerged of him grabbing a police officer.
Reeder — who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully parading, demonstrating and picketing the Capitol — told the court on Friday that he was remorseful for his actions and called taking part in the riot “the biggest mistake of my life.”
“I sincerely apologize for my shameful actions,” he said. “I committed unacceptable actions for being there. I know it was really tough for the police… I’ve always supported the police 110%.”
Reeder also went into detail about what a personal toll being arrested for storming the Capitol has taken on him.
“I’ve lost my job,” he said while tearing up, according to NBC 4 Washington reporter Scott MacFarlane. “I’m radioactive. No one wants to hire me. They just have to Google my name.”
Reeder also said that he’s not welcome to serve as a local Boy Scoutmaster and sports coach anymore and that even his church has told him to stay away and “not be a distraction” for the time being.
“It’s become evident to me that many of the defendants pleading guilty do not truly accept responsibility. They seem, to me, to be trying to get this out of the way as quickly as possible, stating whatever they have to say … but not changing their attitude,” U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan said as he sentenced Robert Reeder.
He said he believed Reeder is sorry now and sentenced him to half of the six months prosecutors had wanted, but the judge said some of Reeder’s previous statements had been “disingenuous and self-serving.”
Hogan said he hopes the sentence sends a signal that people convicted in the riot will face jail time.
“This was an attack on the operations of Congress and the Capitol of the United States, a really sacrosanct building,” he said.
Reeder had been expected to get probation last month, after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and saying he had not been involved in any violence that day. Then a group of armchair detectives who call themselves Sedition Hunters unearthed a video online showing Reeder assaulting an officer.
— #SeditionHunters (@SeditionHunters) August 18, 2021
Reeder said he touched or grabbed the officer’s shoulder, and forgot to mention it in previous FBI interviews where he voluntarily shared video with agents.
“Immediately after the interaction with the police officer I just wanted to get out of there. It just wasn’t me,” he said. “I’ve always been regretful and ashamed of being there, not because I’m in trouble but because I saw what happened and it was disgusting.”