Retired NYPD officer charged in attacking police during Capitol riots
A retired New York Police Department officer has been arrested and charged in attacking a Metropolitan Police Department officer in D.C. during the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Thomas Webster, 54, was voluntarily taken into custody in New York on Monday, the Justice Department said in a statement Tuesday, the same day Webster was ordered detained after an initial court hearing.
The former Marine is facing five charges that include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon and obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder.
Body camera footage shows Webster approaching an MPD officer who is barricaded behind a metal gate outside of the Capitol building. Webster can be seen carrying a large metal flagpole with a U.S. Marine Corps flag attached to it, according to an affidavit.
After berating the officer, Webster aggressively shoves the gate into the officer’s body and then takes the flagpole and strikes the barricade before attempting to attack the officer by lunging toward him, striking at him numerous times with the flagpole.
After breaking through the barricade, Webster charges toward the officer with clench fists. Webster ultimately lunges to the ground an attacks the officer.
Additional footage posted to Twitter shows Webster pinning the officer to the ground and straddling him as he tries to remove the officer’s shield and gas mask. The officer couldn’t breathe during the attack because he was being choked by his chinstrap, according to the affidavit.
Another video posted to YouTube shows Webster on the upper West Terrace of the Capitol. Thirty-seconds in, Webster says “send more patriots, we need some help,” and is seen wearing a dark blue or black body armor vest.
Federal authorities have been aggressively tracking down hundreds of people who were involved in the deadly riots on Jan. 6. Webster’s arrest is the latest in a string of current and former police officers being charged in connection with the deadly Jan. 6 riots.
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