Woman gets 6 years for assaulting sergeant with flagpole, pushing officers down stairs during Capitol riot

A Florida woman was sentenced Friday to six years in federal prison for her actions during the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Audrey Ann Southard-Rumsey, 54, was found guilty of seven felony charges, including three counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, three counts of civil disorder, and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding.

She was sentenced in D.C. federal court to 72 months in prison, the Department of Justice said in a news release Friday. U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta also ordered Southard-Rumsey to serve 36 months of supervised release and pay $2,000 in restitution.

Following the 2020 election, Southard-Rumsey used social media to call for a revolution, the abolition of the Democratic Party and the institution of a new government, prosecutors said.

According to the criminal complaint, Southard-Rumsey traveled with a group to Washington, D.C. from her home in Spring Hill, just north of Tampa, on Jan. 5, 2021.

Around noon on Jan. 6, she posted a selfie to Facebook from outside the Capitol Building. The photo caption read in part, “Ready to take it. As soon as we get enough people up here. Storm the Capitol Building, it’s gonna be fun.”

About two hours later, as hundreds of rioters pushed through police barricades, Southard-Rumsey grabbed a flagpole and pressed it against a Capitol Police sergeant’s chest, causing him to fall backward and hit his head on the base of a marble statue.

At the door to the House Chamber, she yelled, “We’re coming for you!” authorities said.

According to the complaint, Southard-Rumsey later joined a group of individuals who were seeking access to the House Speaker’s office. While doing so, the rioters pushed a group of police officers down a set of stairs.

Southard-Rumsey was arrested in June 2021.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, before joining a mob of Donald Trump supporters in a violent effort to overturn the 2020 election results, Southard-Rumsey was a vocal coach and piano teacher who “spent years helping kids find their creative voices and strengthening her own.”