Rioter Thomas Sibick pleads guilty to stealing the Fanone badge
One of the men accused of assaulting the city’s police officer, Michael Fanone, during the Capitol riots on January 6 has admitted taking part in the attack and stealing the officer’s badge.
asked Thomas Sibick guilty Friday to attack Fanone, identified only as “Officer MF” in indictment documents, and steal his badge. The Nine Page opinion of the offence, however, explicitly identifies Fanone.
The attack on Fanone became one of many defining moments of the riots as thousands of Donald Trump supporters, enraged by Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, violently overwhelmed police to breach the Capitol.
Fanone’s body-worn camera footage shows Sibick’s role in the attack. After Fanone is forced to the ground by rioters, Sibick is seen grabbing Fanone’s body and pulling away the radio and tag. Rioters also took Fanone’s police-issued firearm. The office, who lost consciousness after being beaten and verbally abused by rioters, was eventually taken to safety by other officers and later hospitalized.
Sibick’s statement of insult goes into the details of the attack, including the taser used by colleague Daniel Rodriguez.
“As a result of the attack, Officer Fanone suffered significant and painful injuries,” the statement said. “When Daniel Rodriguez repeatedly tasered Officer Fanone’s neck, Officer Fanone was in excruciating pain and was momentarily helpless. He can be heard screaming on his body worn camera. The shelling caused burn marks on Officer Fanone’s neck, resulting in scarring. Shortly after he was tasered, Officer Fanone’s body-worn camera shows the efforts of those around him trying to elicit a reaction from him, indicating he was unconscious for more than two minutes.”
Sibick also poses for a photo holding and standing behind a U.S. Capitol Police riot shield. Video footage shows Sibick among the crowd at the mouth of the tunnel on Lower West Terrace, where rioters and police fought violently for hours. At one point, Sibick is heard saying “let me out,” at which point he leaves the crowd.
According to prosecutors, Sibick misled federal investigators from their initial interaction in January 2021 when he said he saw the attack on Fanone but did not participate. In fact, he told federal investigators that he tried to drag Fanone away from the crowd but backed out because he “feared for his life and that of the officer.”
About a month later, federal agents interviewed Sibick again. This time he admitted stealing Fanone’s badge and radio. He initially told officers he had them on him and “threw them in a trash can on Constitution Avenue,” but later said he had to “recant” that statement because he actually took the items home to Buffalo.
He told investigators he threw them in a dumpster behind a hotel. The agents, who didn’t seem to believe him, organized some kind of covert operation.
“On February 25, 2021, an agent sent SIBICK a ruse email stating that the security cameras at the Lenox Hotel would be checked to confirm SIBICK’s statement that he disposed of the tag and radio in the dumpster.” , according to the probable cause affidavit . “On February 26, 2021, SIBICK called the agent and stated that he was desperate and wanted to do the right thing. SIBICK stated that he did not dispose of the plaque in the dumpster behind the Lenox Hotel. Rather, he had buried the badge in his backyard. SIBICK stated that he bought a metal detector to find the brand, which he then dug up and that he wanted to return it.”
Sibick met the agent that evening and gave him a muddy bag that contained Fanone’s badge.
Sibick told agents that he threw away the police radio. Court documents say the agents “could not find any surveillance cameras to confirm or refute this allegation.”
Sibick faces up to eight years in prison for assault. Since Fanone’s badge is worth more than $1,000, Sibick also faces a five-year legal maximum for reporting theft.
Sibick was charged alongside Albuquerque Cosper Head and Kyle Young. Head, who boasted, “Hey, I’ve got one!” to the mob just before attacking the officer, pleaded guilty to assault in May and was sentenced to more than seven years in prison in October.
Young also pleaded guilty to assault in May and was sentenced to just over seven years in prison in September.
Rodriguez, who appeared to have admitted to federal investigators that he was involved in the attack on Fanone, was charged separately and pleaded guilty to conspiracy and assault in February and is awaiting conviction.
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https://lawandcrime.com/u-s-capitol-breach/jan-6th-rioter-who-stole-officer-michael-fanones-badge-following-capitol-assault-pleads-guilty/ Rioter Thomas Sibick pleads guilty to stealing the Fanone badge