A retired New York police officer has been charged with involvement in a capitol riot last month where he allegedly attacked a capitol officer.
Thomas Webster appeared in court on Tuesday, where federal prosecutors claimed he wore a bulletproof vest and prepared for an “armed conflict” during the Jan. 6 attack on the federal building. Prosecutors claimed Webster attacked a Capitol policeman using a flagpole under a Marine flag and also pulled down the officer’s mask and drowned.
Webster allegedly called the officer “commie motherf —–” and went after him like a “junk dog,” prosecutors argued in court on Tuesday.
Charges against assailants, resistance to or obstruction of armed officers, obstruction of law enforcement, deliberate entry into a restricted building or unauthorized area with armed weapons, disorderly conduct and disorderly conduct in a restricted building or armed premises in or on a restricted building, and forcible entry and abnormal conduct in the Capitol area.
FBI investigators viewed Webster through both body camera footage and “open source media,” according to a download document. Open source images show Webster pushing the officer to the ground while on the ground and trying to forcibly remove the Capitol officer’s face shield and gas mask, the document said.
James Monroe, Webster’s attorney, did not deny that his client was seen in the video evidence found by the investigators. Webster went to the Capitol to protest and went at the urging of former President Donald Trump, Monroe argued.
Monroe asked the judge to release Webster, citing his family ties and lack of criminal history. Webster was fairly fired from the Marines and spent 20 years at the New York Police Department, his lawyer argued.
During his time as a police officer, Webster provided security for his town hall and New York Mayor’s official residence, Gracie Castle, according to law enforcement officials who have direct knowledge of the investigation. He withdrew from the 2011 force – confirmed the NYPD to NBC News on Tuesday.
Webster surrendered to the FBI’s Hudson Valley office on Monday, according to NBC New York. He also handed over his firearms, pistol license and passport to the authorities.
Webster is among more than 200 people charged with Capitol riot, and some of them have been identified as military veterans.