NYPD veteran found guilty of assaulting officer in Capitol riot
A former NYC A police officer and US Marine Corps veteran was found guilty of assaulting a police officer on January 6, 2021 after a jury rejected his argument that he acted in self-defense when he knocked the officer to the ground.
Thomas Webster is the first Uprising in the Capitol to try the accused for assault and to bring his case before a jury on a self-defense charge. He was found guilty of six counts, including assaulting an officer with a gun. His sentencing is scheduled for September 2nd.
In the fourth felony trial following the attack on Congress to stop the confirmation of Joe Biden’s presidency, the 56-year-old former police officer testified that he protected himself from Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Officer Noah Rathbun, whom Webster for blamed the start A fight.
Footage from Officer Rathbun’s body-mounted camera shows Webster – who was wearing a bulletproof vest and a Marines flag flying from a metal flagpole that day – amid a crowd who stormed a row of bike racks in front of the US Capitol building after they Listening to then-President Donald Trump speaks at a rally nearby.
Webster is heard yelling obscenities and repeatedly calling the police “communists” while telling Rathbun to put down his gear and fight before shoving the bike rack into the police line.
The officer then pressed his open left hand against the side of Webster’s face; Webster testified that he was “hit hard” and claimed he had to fight one “Rogue” Officer.
Webster then swung his flagpole at Officer Rathbun, grabbed him to the ground and grabbed the gas mask Officer Rathbun was wearing. The officer stated that he began to choke as the chin strap pressed against his throat.
“I felt like I had to do something to protect myself,” Webster said in court last week, arguing he fought the officer out of “just pure frustration” after Officer Rathbun “incited” him.
Defense attorney James Monroe called Officer Rathbun a “dishonest, unprofessional police officer who took it upon himself to punish my client for expressing himself in a way he found offensive.”
More than 100 police officers were injured in the attack and more than 800 people were charged in connection with the riots, according to the US Department of Justice.
At least 245 people are charged with assault or obstruction of law enforcement.
The jury returned a guilty verdict on May 2, after about two hours of deliberation and three days of argument, during which federal prosecutors described Webster as an “enraged” man who launched an unprovoked attack on overpowered officers who failed to hold back the mob, which eventually broke in swept the halls of Congress threatening the lives of lawmakers, employees and other law enforcement officials that day.
Webster testified that he traveled to Washington DC to “request” members of Congress to review the results of the 2020 presidential election. He did not enter the Capitol; He was not charged with obstruction of Congress and similar crimes faced by many Capitol defendants who entered the building that day.
His most serious conviction – assaulting an officer with a gun – carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/crime/thomas-webster-nypd-capitol-riot-guilty-b2069966.html NYPD veteran found guilty of assaulting officer in Capitol riot