A pig farmer from Meadville who called police “Nazis” and tripped one of them during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was sentenced Thursday to 30 months behind bars.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg imposed that term on Mikhail Slye, 32.

Slye had pleaded guilty in January to assaulting and impeding police, a felony, during the riot in support of then-President Donald Trump’s lies.

He entered the Capitol through a broken window while wearing a baseball helmet and a face mask. He left a short time later but then went back inside and walked to the Crypt area, where he stayed for half an hour.

After leaving the building, Slye walked to the north side of the Capitol and saw police using pepper spray to hold back the mob. As officers made their way down the stairs outside a set of doors, Slye grabbed a bike rack barricade, waited a bit and then threw the barricade into an officer’s path. The officer tripped over it and fell, suffering injuries.

Because of that action, online sleuths helping the FBI track down rioters nicknamed Slye “JackTheTripper.”

After he tripped the officer, Slye started screaming at police, calling them traitors, Nazis and “f—-g bitches” while spitting at them.

Video shows Slye getting pepper sprayed at one point and another rioter helping him wash out his eyes.

He also gave an interview at the Capitol about why he was rioting that was posted on YouTube.

A witness came forward in June 2021 who identified Slye, and a second witness who was friends with Slye on Facebook said he or she had received notice on the day of the riot that Slye was recording live from the Trump rally in Washington.

Slye’s lawyer asked for home confinement instead of prison, describing his client as a devoted father to three children and a kindhearted man who is “incredibly apologetic and remorseful” for what he did. The lawyer also said Slye had a tough upbringing and suffers from epilepsy.

Prosecutors asked for 57 months. They said Slye initially told the FBI that he didn’t remember throwing the barricade at the police officer. When agents showed him the video of him doing just that, he said maybe someone else threw it at him and he held up his hands to protect himself and it bounced into the officer. When asked if he intended to hurt the officer, he said, “I don’t know, man.”

Prosecutors said his belligerent conduct at the Capitol is the “epitome of disrespect for the law.”

The judge chose a sentence in between the two requests, as many of the judges have done in Capitol riot cases. In addition to the prison term, the judge ordered Slye to be on probation for 18 months and to pay $2,000 in restitution.

Slye is among some two dozen people from Western Pennsylvania arrested in the rioting, most of whom have been convicted. Many have gone to prison. Overall, the FBI has arrested more than 1,000 people and continues to hunt for others.

Torsten covers the courts for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Reach him at jtorsteno@gmail.com.

Torsten Ove

Torsten covers the courts for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Reach him at jtorsteno@gmail.com.