Prosecutors Say Retired NYPD Officer Beat Police Officer With Metal Pole During US Capitol Riot
Published in Mar 2021 / Updated in Aug 2021
A former Marine and retired NYPD officer, Thomas Webster, is facing charges for using an aluminum pole as an assault weapon on a police officer during the infamous Capitol riot of January 6.
As a result, federal prosecutors made a number of charges against the 52-year-old police officer.
According to Benjamin Gianforti, one of the prosecutors, Webster turned himself in to the FBI field office in Hudson Valley, New York.
The officer had retired from the NYPD in 2011, and he was part of the uniformed security detail at City Hall and Gracie Mansion. This is the traditional residence of the Mayor of New York City.
During a virtual hearing based in White Plains, New York, the prosecutor said that Webster was seen attacking a police officer with an aluminum pole.
During the hearing, Gianforti referenced the details of a body cam video showing what Webster did. The pole he used had a Marine Corps flag attached to it.
The prosecutor also explained that Webster was then seen beating the officer with his hand. He also ripped off his gear, which caused the police officer to choke as it “cut off [the officer’s] air for a short time.”
According to Gianforti, Webster went on to insult the officer and called him a “f***ing piece of s**t” and a “commie mother f***er.” These words were heard through the body cam video.
Webster Faces Assault Charges
The prosecution is charging Webster with assaulting police officers with a deadly weapon.
He also faces charges of obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, entering a restricted area knowingly, having disorderly conduct in a restricted area, engaging in physical violence in a restricted area, and having disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
Judge Andrew E. Krause of the Southern District of New York said that investigators showed him the alleged police bodycam video and the videos posted on the internet. He claimed that Webster was the man seen attacking the police in these videos.
The judge also explained that the video shows the man swinging the pole and it hit the metal barricade in front of the officer several times until it was “bent beyond recognition.”
The prosecutors asked the judge to keep Webster in custody before his detention hearing. The violent actions the officer committed during the riot at the Capitol were part of the reason the prosecutors wanted the man kept in custody.
Webster Claimed That The Officer Started It
While the deliberation over the pre-trial was taking place, Webster told his lawyer that before the assault he is alleged to have committed, the police officer had punched him.
According to Gianforti, nothing of the sort happened.
Apparently, the Justice Department had reviewed the 10-minute footage taken by the police bodycam before Webster’s attack. Their analysis showed that there was nothing in there to suggest Mr. Webster was struck by the officer he assaulted or any other police officer for that matter.
In the end, the judge approved the prosecution’s request to have Webster detained before the start of his trial.
Webster was honorably discharged from the Marines. He is also a retired NYPD officer.
His lawyer, Monroe, explained that Webster was in Washington to protest issues he “felt very strongly about” and that he was “urged on by our former President.”
While in court, Monroe, argued that “he’s not part of a group, he’s not part of any organization.”