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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 3, 2020

Arizona Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting a Federal Officer in a Restricted Area Outside of Federal Court in Washington, D.C.

            WASHINGTON - United States Attorney for the District of Columbia Timothy J. Shea, and Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Lamont Ruffin, of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), announced that Kyle Piunti, 31, of Arizona, pled guilty on Friday, January 31, 2020, to Assaulting, Resisting, or Impeding Certain Officers or Employees, before United States District Court Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell.

            Chief Judge Howell will sentence Piunti, on April 10, 2020. At sentencing, Piunti faces a term of incarceration and up to three years of supervised release for the charge. The Court ordered that Piunti be held without bond pending his sentencing.

            According to the government’s evidence, on August 21, 2019, at approximately 7:40 p.m., an on-duty Court Security Officer, who is designated a federal officer, observed the defendant inside of a USMS vehicle located inside the restricted parking lot of the United States District Court. The Court Security Officer told the defendant to get out of the vehicle and the restricted parking lot area. The defendant became aggressive, and began to assault the Court Security Officer.  During the assault, the defendant pushed the Officer to the ground; the Officer was immediately taken to the hospital for treatment for a severe ankle injury which subsequently required surgical treatment to repair the damage caused by the defendant.  The defendant ran from the restricted area before he was ultimately apprehended several blocks away.

        In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Shea and Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Ruffin commended the work of those who investigated the case from the U.S. Marshals Service. They expressed appreciation for the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Paralegal Specialist Teesha Tobias, Rommel Pachoca, and Legal Assistant Kate Abrey. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory V. Cole who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Press Release Number: 
20-022
Updated February 3, 2020