Retired NYPD Officer Charged With Beating Cop With Metal Pole During Capitol Riot
A retired NYPD officer has been charged with beating a police officer with a metal pole during the deadly Capitol riots of January 6.
Thomas Webster, 52, reportedly turned himself in at the FBI field office in New York’s Hudson Valley at approximately 2.35pm, as per Prosecutor Benjamin Gianforti.
During a virtual hearing on Tuesday, February 23, Gianforti stated that Webster had allegedly been seen attacking a police officer using an aluminium pole that bared a Marine Corps flag.
In bodycam footage captured at the scene, Webster could be seen beating the officer using his hands, and ripping away their gear.
As per CNN Politics, Gianforti stated that this action ’caused the police officer to choke,’ as it had ‘cut off [the officer’s] air for a short period of time’.
In the same piece of body cam footage, Webster was also allegedly heard calling the officer he was attacking ‘a f*cking piece of sh*t’ and a ‘commie mother f*cker’.
Webster has reportedly now been charged with assaulting officers using a deadly weapon, obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, knowingly entering a restricted area and disorderly conduct within a restricted area.
He has also been charged with engaging in physical violence within a restricted area, as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct on the grounds of the Capitol.
Southern District of New York Judge Andrew E. Krause stated that investigators had showed him the bodycam footage in question, as well as videos that had been posted online, claiming that Webster was the person seen attacking the police officer.
Describing the footage, Krause said that Webster allegedly swings the pole so that it ‘hits the metal barricade in front of the officer multiple times’, with the force of it resulting in the pole being ‘bent beyond recognition’.
When he is disarmed of the pole, he doesn’t take a step back. The barricade opens up and he charges through it at the officer, and they are wrestling on the ground.
Prosecutors had requested that Krause keep Webster in custody ahead of his detention hearing, citing in part his alleged violent actions during the insurrection.
While deliberations were being held over pre-trial detention, Webster claimed that the police officer had punched him before the alleged assault.
However, after having reviewed the body cam footage taken prior to the alleged assault, the Justice Department found ‘nothing in there that suggests that Mr. Webster was struck by this officer or any other officer’.
Krause has now approved the Justice Department’s request for Webster to be detained prior to his upcoming trial.
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