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A former Marine from Georgia who admitted to assaulting two police officers during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has been sentenced to more than two years in prison.
Kevin Creek, 47, was at the front line of the crowd of Donald Trump supporters facing off against police at the West Plaza that day. According to one of the officers he assaulted, although the police were outnumbered, they had been able to hold off the rioters and stop them from breaching the building.
But that changed when Creek and a few others started attacking individual police officers.
Video shows Creek reaching over a bike rack-turned-barricade and grabbing an officer’s face shield. He later struck that officer with his right hand before, according to prosecutors, “driving him backward forcefully several feet.”
Creek is also seen on video kicking a police officer who was holding up a shield to protect himself.
Creek, a military veteran, then apparently “pointed aggressively to his Marine Corps cap, as if to emphasize, ‘I’m a Marine!”” in a move the government said reflected Creek’s intent to “weaponize his military training and experience against police officers.”
According to court documents, Creek was carrying mace and a boot knife at the time of the attack, although he was not charged with using them during his confrontation with police.
Creek pleaded guilty in December. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich, a Trump appointee, sentenced Creek to 27 months in prison followed by 12 months of supervised release.
“He Broke the Line”
During the sentencing hearing Monday, prosecutor Kathryn Fifield depicted Creek’s participation in the Capitol attack as “enthusiastic and deliberate,” adding that he played a “critical” role in enabling other rioters to ultimately breach the building.
Fifield focused on what happened on the West Plaza at around 2:28 p.m., around the time the increasingly violent rioters broke through the police line.
“Mr. Creek’s role in this moment was not small,” Fifield said. “He broke the line.”
Fifield played videos that showed Creek assaulting two police officers who were identified only by their initials.
Shortly after Creek assaulted the officers, the police line collapsed.
In a written victim impact statement that Fifield read at the hearing, J.C.M. had described the police line as intact, but “perilously thin.”
Prior to being assaulted by Creek, J.C.M.’s verbal commands to the crowd had been “successful” in keeping them behind the makeshift barricade. That changed when J.C.M. backed off the line in order to put on his gas mask in response to a rioter throwing a can that was emitting tear gas at police.
“It was at this moment Mr. Creek came out of the crowd, grabbed hold of my vest, pushed me off the line,” J.C.M.’s statement said, adding that the situation then developed into a melee.
The “aggressive actions of Mr. Creek and others” at that time were responsible for breaking the police line, J.C.M. said. Without that, the police “would have stood a better chance” at protecting the Capitol.
Fifield emphasized this point.
“Without his actions, additional breaches of the Capitol building would not have occurred,” Fifield said. “Officers on the [West Plaza] would not have spent the next several hours fighting for their own personal security rather than defending the Capitol.”
J.C.M. said that the actions of Creek and others affected not just the officers they attacked that day.
“My wife spent the day caring for our 2-year-old daughter,” J.C.M.’s statement said. “Everyone wanted to know how I was, [and] all she could say was she hadn’t heard from me. I had been a police officer for 10 years at that point. I always felt I carried the physical dangers of the job well. It is the impact to my family I have trouble with.”
J.C.M. said that the four hours that he was unable to contact his wife “is something I can’t forgive myself [for], and as a result I cannot forgive Mr. Creek for his part in it.”
“As a Marine, You Defended the Ideals of Democracy”
“When asked whether he regretted his conduct, Creek replied, ’50/50,’” the government’s sentencing memorandum said, a point Fifield raised at the hearing, adding that when the FBI interviewed Creek in June of 2021, he complained about being in trouble with the FBI and having to go through enhanced security screening at the airport.
However, it appears that Creek had changed his tune by the time it came to sentencing.
“The thought that I’m not remorseful is completely not correct,” Creek said. He also apologized to his own family, as well as those of the officers he attacked.
“I’m sorry if I caused those officers any trauma in any way, their families any trauma in any way,” Creek said. “I’m truly sorry for this. I don’t know how else to say it. I’ve been struggling with this for months. I take full responsibility. I understand my actions.”
Creek’s attorney, Troy Jones, said that Creek helped a female officer who had gotten hurt in the riot. Fifield said that while the government hadn’t seen evidence to verify that, there was also nothing that definitively showed it didn’t happen.
Jones also noted that the two officers Creek assaulted suffered only minor injuries, which Friedrich said was fortuitous.
“Mr. Creek put multiple officers at risk as they retreated,” Friedrich said, adding that it surprising none of the officers were trampled as rioters stormed toward the Capitol.
Friedrich indicated that Creek appeared truly sorry at the hearing.
“I do believe your remorse now is genuine and heartfelt and I appreciate what you said,” Friedrich told him. The judge also noted what she said were meaningful and significant contributions by Creek to his community, and the fact that his roofing business had suffered as a result of the charges against him.
Friedrich said, however, that the seriousness of Creek’s actions warranted some time in prison.
“Mr. Creek, no matter what your political views are, no matter what you thought of the 2020 presidential election … your actions that day were inconsistent with the oath you took as a Marine and inconsistent with those values,” Friedrich said to Creek. “As a Marine, you defended the ideals of democracy, and you know that in our country elections are governed by the rule of law. Assaults against police officers are inconsistent with those values.”
Friedrich added that the trauma felt by law enforcement at the Capitol on Jan. 6 extended to not only the lawmakers and staff members who were forced to hide as rioters swarmed the building, but also to Americans who were watching on TV that day.
“The unsuccessful attempt to interfere with the peaceful transition of power caused great harm [to the U.S.],” Friedrich said. “The actions you took stand in stark contrast to your actions as a Marine.”
Under the assault statute, Creek faced up to eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Prosecutors had requested 27 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Creek had asked for a sentence of probation only.
Creek will also have to pay $2,000 in restitution toward the estimated $2.7 million in damage done to the Capitol.
[Images via FBI court filing.]
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