WASHINGTON — A Washington, D.C., police officer who was crushed by a pro-Trump mob in a tunnel resulting in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, testified Tuesday towards one of many rioters charged with assaulting him.
Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges, who has spoken publicly about being attacked on the Capitol, together with before the Jan. 6 committee, appeared in court docket Tuesday for the trial of three Capitol defendants: Patrick McCaughey III, Tristan Stevens and David Mehaffie. The case is earlier than U.S. District Decide Trevor McFadden, the one federal choose in Washington who has acquitted a Jan. 6 defendant.
McCaughey, the Justice Division alleged, “threw his physique weight” towards Hodges and pressed a stolen police defend towards him. Citing a video that went viral after the Jan. 6 assault, federal prosecutors wrote in a trial transient that Hodges was “screaming out in ache, crushed between the defend held by defendant McCaughey and the door body of the Capitol.”
Hodges, who has stated in media appearances that Donald Trump has a “cultlike” management over his supporters, informed the court docket Tuesday that the assault “harm an excellent deal” and that McCaughey’s actions contributed to his accidents that day.
“It, mixed with all the things else that was occurring, made it tough to breathe,” Hodges stated. “Being crushed by the defend and the folks behind it … leaving me defenseless, injured.”
“There isn’t any good approach to struggle again towards it,” he testified. “You must endure the strain that it creates.”
Hodges testified that he had “by no means been in the US Capitol constructing earlier than” Jan. 6 and that his radio was stolen and he was separated from his platoon.
“I didn’t know the place I used to be going. I didn’t know whether or not there was an avenue of egress for us to take. I used to be anxious that we’d be put up towards the wall actually and figuratively,” he testified.
After being crushed within the tunnel on the western facet of the Capitol, he ultimately headed away from the rioters and into the Capitol with the assistance of one other officer who pulled him to security.
“I knew sustaining that place and staying upright was untenable. If I used to be there for much longer being assaulted in such a approach, I knew it was very doubtless I wouldn’t be capable of keep my consciousness and turn out to be a legal responsibility to the opposite officers.”
Hodges stated he felt reduction but additionally a bit of embarrassment that he needed to be pulled again so quickly after having come below assault and having had one other rioter rip his gasoline masks off, saying he had needed to “return as quickly as potential” to the battle.
The federal government confirmed pictures of Hodges’ swollen hand and his bleeding backside lip, and Hodges additionally testified that he had a contusion on the highest of his head after the assault.
Assistant U.S. Lawyer Kimberly Paschall, one of many federal prosecutors on the case, wielded a police defend in the course of the trial, illustrating how, she stated, McCaughey used it towards Hodges and the police line.
McCaughey, Hodges testified, was among the many Jan. 6 rioters who have been attempting to get law enforcement officials to face down in the course of the assault.
“He was attempting to get us to give up, to affix them,” Hodges stated.
McCaughey’s co-defendants Stevens and Mehaffie have additionally been charged in reference to the assault on police within the tunnel.
Mehaffie — whom on-line Jan. 6 investigators nicknamed “Tunnel Commander” — is charged with a felony rely of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, in addition to felony obstruction of an official continuing and felony civil dysfunction. Federal prosecutors say he was “telling rioters when and the place to push on the police line, methods to enter and exit in probably the most environment friendly method, and handing a defend into the rioters to arrange a wall towards the police.”
Stevens, federal prosecutors say, hit Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell with a police defend. He’s charged with three counts of assaulting, resisting, or impeding sure officers, in addition to obstruction of an official continuing and civil dysfunction.
Greater than 850 folks have been arrested in reference to the Jan. 6 assault, and the FBI has the names of hundreds extra rioters who’ve not yet been arrested. The entire quantity of people that unlawfully entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 is more than 2,500, and tons of extra are accused of assaulting legislation enforcement officers however not coming into the Capitol.
Greater than 350 defendants have pleaded responsible, and greater than a dozen have been discovered responsible at trial.
Proud Boy Joshua Pruitt was sentenced this week to 4½ years in federal prison, whereas Howard Richardson was sentenced to 3½ years after he used a Trump flag to assault an officer.
Two defendants have been sentenced to document phrases of greater than seven years in federal jail: Thomas Robertson, a former Virginia police officer, and Guy Reffitt, a Texas extremist whose personal son tipped off the FBI about him earlier than Jan. 6.
Federal prosecutors are searching for the longest sentence but, 17½ years in federal prison, for ex-New York Police Officer Thomas Webster, who tackled a Washington police officer to the bottom and tried to strike him with a flagpole on Jan. 6.