Retired NYPD Cop Surrenders to FBI After Being Accused of Pipe Attack on Capitol Police During Insurrection
Thomas Webster, 54, a former Marine who once was apart of the NYPD’s security detail of New York City’s Gracie Mansion and City Hall, faces six charges including allegedly attacking a federal officer during the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to reports.
Thomas Webster, 54, a former Marine who once was apart of the NYPD’s security detail at New York City’s Gracie Mansion and City Hall, faces six charges in connection to the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, including allegedly attacking a federal officer, ABC 7 New York reported.
Webster was formally charged Tuesday in a court in White Plains, New York. Prosecutors said Webster attacked a Capitol police officer with an aluminum pole while holding a Marine Corps flag. Webster then allegedly ripped off the officer's mask and caused the officer to choke, prosecutors said, according to NBC News New York.
Prosecutors played videos of various angles of a man they identified as Webster allegedly attacking the Capitol police officer.
"These videos shock the conscience," assistant US Attorney Benjamin Gianforti said. "We see the defendant, clear as day, attacking a police officer, first with an aluminum pole and then with his bare hands, ripping the officer's protective gear off."
Gianforti said that Webster wore a bulletproof vest on Jan. 6 and told agents he brought a gun with him to Washington, which the prosecutor said was an indication he was prepared for armed violence.
"We see what I would describe as a look of pure rage," he said. "His teeth are gritted. This is a man who was about to unleash violence on that poor police officer."
Webster’s lawyer, James Monroe, says his client did go to the Capitol to protest that day, but was not part of any group or organization. Monroe claims his client was hit by the Capitol cop before retaliating, NBC News reported. Monroe also stated that in his 20 years of service at the NYPD, Webster never fired a single round from his gun and had no prior arrests.
Monroe said that his client plans to enter a not guilty plea when he returns to court next month.
The judge ordered Webster to be held without bail.
"The conduct on the video does shock the conscience," Judge Andrew Krause said. "It makes it particularly troubling and perplexing to weigh that impressive resume of public service against what we see in this video. What we see in this video is a person who flat out attacks a law enforcement officer, first verbally and then with a metal pole that he swings repeatedly."
The Police Benevolence Association, which is an NYPD union, denounced Webster's actions and said in a statement on Twitter that that the riot was a "disgusting assault" on the Capitol police, the U.S. government and what "NYC police officers stand for. Even worse: the suspect once wore our uniform. Justice must be swift and severe."
On Jan. 28, the FBI tweeted images of a man they now say is Webster, including one from the alleged attack. He was later identified by other law enforcement officials and when Webster learned of the images floating around, he contacted his lawyer and they opted that the best course of action was to surrender, NBC News reported.
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