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New York man accused of taking badge of officer beaten during Capitol riot

Thomas F. Sibick at the Capitol Riot on Jan. 6. (Photo courtesy of U.S. District Court/ NBC)

Thomas Sibick, of Buffalo, is accused of taking the officer's badge and radio and burying the badge in his backyard.

Posted: Mar 13, 2021 4:16 PM

A New York man is accused of assaulting a Metropolitan police officer and "forcibly" taking his badge and radio during January's riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Federal authorities said the officer, who is identified in court documents as M.F., was assisting Capitol police on Jan. 6 when a rioter pulled him into a crowd where he was "beat, tased, and robbed" of his badge, radio, and 17-round magazine.

The rioters also tried to "forcibly remove" the officer's gun from his holster but were unsuccessful, according to a criminal complaint.

"As a rioter attempted to get Officer M.F.’s gun, Officer M.F. heard him yell words to the effect that he was going to take Officer M.F.’s gun and kill him," the complaint states.

During the scuffle, the officer blacked out and was later taken to a hospital to be treated for his injuries.

Photos released by authorities show a hole on the officer's tactical vest where his badge was "forcibly ripped out." The attack was captured on his body camera and shows a person reaching toward the officer and pulling off his badge and radio.

Authorities identified the person in the video as Thomas F. Sibick, of Buffalo, New York.

Sibick was charged with knowingly entering a restricted building, violent entry or disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, obstruction of law enforcement, assaulting or impeding certain officers, and taking from a person anything of value by force.

According to the complaint, Sibick took the badge and radio back to Buffalo and buried the badge in his backyard.

The document states that FBI agents spoke with someone who said Sibick posted an Instagram video of himself at the riot. In the footage, he said that he had been tear-gassed but "we’re going, baby, we’re going."

He later posted a Facebook of himself holding a shield belonging to a Capitol police officer, according to the complaint.

In a Jan. 27 interview with FBI agents, officials said Sibick acknowledged being at the Capitol on the day of the riot and described seeing two Metropolitan police officers being attacked. He added a group was trying to get one of the officer's weapons and threatened to kill the officer, the complaint states.

Sibick said he went over to help the officer, according to the document.

"Sibick stated that he attempted to reach the officer to pull him away but was unable to get to him and at that point he feared for his life and that of the officer. Sibick further stated that due to the violence, he decided to leave," the complaint states.

During that same interview, he told agents that the Capitol police officer's shield was being passed through the crowd and he took a picture with it.

Agents conducted a follow-up interview with Sibick on Feb. 23 after identifying him in the police body camera video.

"Sibick stated that he had reached in to try to help the officer, and that he remembered the badge coming off as he reached for him. Sibick said that he pressed the 'emergency orange button' once he had possession of the radio to get help for the officer," the complaint states.

Sibick initially told agents that he dropped the badge and radio and left the Capitol, but later said he took the items back to Buffalo where he threw away the radio and buried the badge in his yard. His attorney, Alexander Anzalone, declined to comment on the case.

Sibick was arrested and later released to home incarceration at his father’s house after his appearance in federal court

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