A North Fulton contractor and former Marine who assaulted police officers in fierce fighting during the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol riot will spend 27 months in prison, a federal judge ruled Monday.
The sentence for Johns Creek resident Kevin Douglas Creek, 47, is one of the longest so far handed down for any of the 22 Georgia defendants in the Capitol riot. From her chambers in Washington, D.C., U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich said the evidence captured from videos taken during the riot showed Creek played a pivotal role in the breaking of police defensive lines on the Capitol’s west terrace, after which hundreds of rioters streamed through.
“He made the decision to go toe-to-toe with police officers on the west side of the Capitol,” she said, referring to Creek, who joined with his attorney via video conference.
Directly addressing Creek, Friedrich referenced his service in the Marines and his oath to uphold the Constitution.
“No matter what you thought about the 2020 presidential election that day, … you know that your actions were inconsistent with the oath you took as a Marine and with those values,” Friedrich, a Trump appointee, said. “You know in this country that our elections are governed by the rule of law.”
The sentence was in line with prosecutors’ request, which they described as the midpoint in the federal sentencing guideline range of 24-30 months for the crime. Creek, a roofing contractor and father of two, pleaded guilty in December of assaulting a police officer in exchange for the government agreeing to drop other charges against him.
In a statement to the court, Creek accepted responsibility for assaulting two police officers during the riot. Videos taken that day show Creek emerging from a crowd of rioters to grapple with a sergeant who was one of the few supervisors overseeing a thin line of police using metal bike racks to hold back a large, unruly crowd of rioters.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Fifield said Creek’s attack on the officer was a pivotal moment in the Capitol defense, after which the crowd surged forward, breaking through the lines and moving toward the building.
“His conduct assaulting these officers disrespects the oath he took to defend this country,” Fifield said. “Mr. Creek needs to be made to understand the seriousness of his conduct.”
Prior to his arrest last June, when FBI agents asked Creek if he was remorseful for his actions on Jan. 6, Creek replied, “50/50″ and said he was upset that he was in trouble and regretted that he had to undergo additional security screening at airports. On Monday, prior to sentencing, an emotional Creek said he was “very sorry and very remorseful” and asked for leniency.
“I regret tremendously assaulting those two officers,” he said. “My conduct was not reflective of Marine Corps values.”
In addition, Creek said his father is a retired police officer and U.S. marshal. “He was in law enforcement, just like those officers were that I assaulted,” he said. “I was very impulsive with what I did. It was very bad judgment.”
Friedrich was unconvinced by Creek’s claim that he had come to Washington for the “Stop the Steal” rally but had no intention to march on the Capitol, noting he had packed a backpack with a boot knife, a two-way radio and first aid supplies. She said Creek was just lucky none of the officers were seriously injured in the fracas, aside from the emotional and psychological toll from the day.
But she said she believed his regret at sentencing was “genuine and heartfelt.” His punishment should serve as a deterrent to “other potential future rioters,” she said.
Friedrich gave Creek until July 1 to report to prison so that he could complete a planned surgery before beginning his sentence.
AJC Reporter Chris Joyner has been following the Jan. 6 riots since that violent day at the U.S. Capitol. He has written dozens of stories detailing the sprawling investigation that has led to 22 Georgians getting charged in relation to the insurrection. He has profiled some of the defendants to offer readers insight into Georgian’s role in the riots. He will continue to follow this important story.
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Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC