A retired New York City police officer who once served on former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s detail was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday for instigating an attack on a D.C. police officer defending the Capitol on January 6, marking the longest sentence so far for a January 6 rioter.
Thomas Webster, 56, was convicted on five felony charges in May, including assaulting a law enforcement officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
Prosecutors had sought a 17-year sentence for Webster, who U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves said “chose to escalate the situation, brutally going on the attack” on January 6.
Photo and video footage showed Webster swinging a flagpole at Metropolitan Police Officer Noah Rathbun, who managed to take the pole away.
Webster then tackled Rathbun to the ground and began choking him, while others in the Trump-supporting mob kicked the officer, who sustained several injuries.
Webster is the 33rd rioter to be convicted of a felony, with prosecutors a perfect eight-for-eight so far at winning convictions against rioters at jury trials, according to the Washington Post. More than 860 people have been arrested in connection with the riot and over 260 of those have been charged over interacting with law enforcement, according to the Justice Department.
A New Jersey man pleaded guilty earlier in the day Thursday to felony charges for assaulting Capitol Police officers, including officer Brian Sicknick. The man, Julian Elie Khater, admitted to pepper-spraying Sicknick in the face.
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