Maryland Man Found Guilty of Charges for Assaulting Law Enforcement Officers During 2020 Demonstration

Maryland Man Found Guilty of Charges for Assaulting Law Enforcement Officers During 2020 Demonstration

            WASHINGTON – A Maryland man has been found guilty by a jury of assaulting two police officers during a demonstration that took place in December 2020 in downtown Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Michael Patschak, 31, of Frederick, Maryland, was found guilty on Nov. 10, 2022, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of two counts of assaulting a police officer and one count of robbery. He is to be sentenced on Jan. 20, 2023, by the Honorable Jason Park.

            According to the government’s evidence at trial, Patschak attended a demonstration at 16th and I Streets NW on Dec. 12, 2020. He was wearing a black military-style helmet, ski goggles, and a backpack with a camera mounted upon it. Amidst the chaos of the demonstration, officers with the Metropolitan Police Department conducted several arrests of protesters who were assaulting officers and other demonstrators. At approximately 4:30 p.m., Patschak observed police officers making an arrest, and he injected himself into the confrontation by shoving the main arresting officer. A fight ensued between Patschak and the police officer, and Patschak ripped the Body-Worn Camera (BWC) from the officer’s chest. The camera fell to the ground, and Patschak quickly snatched it up and put it in his pocket.

            Several minutes later, Patschak approached a retreating police line, raising a middle finger and throwing water at the officers. Another MPD officer moved in to arrest Patschak, but Patshak resisted by punching the officer in the head several times. Eventually, officers were able to detain Patschak. During a search at the time of the arrest of Patschak, officers discovered the officer’s still-recording BWC in Patschak’s backpack.

            The jury returned a verdict of guilty on all charges in an indictment.

            The case was investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department, with valuable assistance provided by the U.S. Secret Service.

            The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua L. Hall and Alec Levy of the Case Initiation Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chip Willoughby, Paralegal Specialists Tonya Queen and Theresa Nelson, and Litigation Technology Specialist Maisha Treadwell.

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