Fontana, CA – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested a man in California on Wednesday who has been charged with using an electroshock weapon on a DC police officer during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6
DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Officer Michael Fanone was one of the officers who responded to the urgent request for help from U.S. Capitol Police on Jan. 6 when angry protesters stormed the Capitol building, The Washington Post reported.
Officer Fanone and many other DC and Capitol Police officers battled back the encroaching mob on the West Terrace of the Capitol for hours, unaware that the building had already been breached by rioters at a different entrance.
Rioters beat the officers with flag poles and their own batons and shields and sprayed bear mace in their faces, The Washington Post reported.
“We weren’t battling 50 or 60 rioters in this tunnel,” Officer Fanone told reporters. “We were battling 15,000 people. It looked like a medieval battle scene.”
He said a rioter grabbed him by the helmet and dragged him down the steps of the Capitol building.
The attack on Officer Fanone was captured on video and went viral, showing rioters beating the officer with flag poles flying Thin Blue Line flags in support of law enforcement.
Police said a second officer was dragged down the steps a moment later, The Washington Post reported.
Both of the officers were hit with stun guns multiple times.
Officer Fanone suffered a mild heart attack in the middle of the chaos, The Washington Post reported.
He drifted in and out of consciousness but still remembers the terrifying mob chanting “USA” as they beat on him with metal poles pulled from the scaffolding that had been set up in preparation for the Inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.
“We got one! We got one!” Officer Fanone said rioters yelled. “Kill him with his own gun!”
Prosecutors said 38-year-old Daniel Rodriguez injured Officer Fanone as he and a group of rioters attempted to breach the entrance of the U.S. Capitol building, the Los Angeles Times reported.
A federal grand jury indictment unsealed on March 31 charged Rodriguez with smashing a window of the Capitol building and carrying deadly weapons, including an electroshock device and a flagpole, inside the Capitol.
The eight-count indictment also said Rodriguez stole one of the emergency escape hoods that are stored underneath lawmakers’ seats, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Many members of Congress grabbed the emergency hoods meant to protect them from a biological or chemical attack as they evacuated the Capitol during the riot.
Rodriguez was the second rioter to be arrested specifically in connection with the attack on Officer Fanone.
A Buffalo man was arrested on March 12 for his involvement in the attack on Officer Fanone during the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
Charging documents showed that prosecutors alleged Thomas Sibick tore Officer Fanone’s badge and radio from his uniform during the attack and then went home and buried the badge in his backyard, CBS News reported.
Sibick was arrested in Buffalo on March 12 and was facing charges that included assaulting or impeding law enforcement, obstruction of law enforcement, and taking from a person anything of value by force, WKBW reported.
A federal judge in the Western District of New York initially released Sibick to home confinement over the government’s objection, CBS News reported.
But prosecutors appealed that ruling in the D.C. Federal court where the case will eventually be prosecuted and the chief judge for the U.S. District Court for Washington, DC reversed the earlier ruling, WKBW reported.
Chief Judge Beryl Howell ordered Sibick held pending trial.
If convicted, Sibick is facing up to 15 years in prison on the current charges, WKBW reported.