A retired New York Police Department officer had been accused of using a flagpole to attack a US Capitol officer on January 6, during the riot in Washington DC. The former cop is now facing charges for participating in the deadly riot.
According to the federal prosecutors, the alleged accused, Thomas Webster, wore a bulletproof vest during the riot. They alleged Tuesday, February 23 in court that he was prepared for "armed conflict" inside the federal building.
The prosecutors also said that Webster attacked the Capitol officer using a flagpole and pulled down the victim's mask, causing him to choke. They told the court that the pole was flying a Marine Corps flag.
As reported, on Monday, February 22, Webster surrendered at the FBI's Hudson Valley office, turned over his firearms, his pistol permit and his passport.
Webster Abused On-Duty Officer
The prosecutors argued that Webster also verbally abused the Capitol officer by calling him "commie motherf****r" who went after him like a "junkyard dog".
He is now facing charges of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers while using a deadly weapon, obstructing law enforcement and willingly entered in the restricted federal building or grounds without lawful authority with a weapon.
Webster also faced charges of disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restrictive building or grounds with a weapon, engaging in physical violence in a restrictive building or grounds and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
The charging document also revealed that the FBI agents who have been investigating the Capitol riot incident, have viewed the accused on both the body camera video and multimedia posts on Twitter.
The open-source media showed that Webster was pinning the Capitol officer to the ground while straddling him and trying to remove the officer's face shield, as well as a gas mask.
James Monroe, who is representing Webster, did not deny that his client was seen in videos, analyzed by the investigators. He clarified that the accused wasn't part of any organized group.
Monroe said that Webster joined the Capitol protest after former President Donald Trump urged his supporters. The attorney asked the court to release his client on bond, citing a lack of criminal history and his family ties.
Monroe also reminded the court that Webster was discharged with honor from the Marines and then spent 20 years with the NYPD. According to law enforcement officials who have direct knowledge of the investigation, Webster had been assigned for a time to work perimeter security at City Hall and at Gracie Mansion, which is the mayor's official residence. The NYPD confirmed on Tuesday that he retired from the force in 2011.