A New York man arrested Friday for assaulting a D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol confessed to the FBI that he buried the officer’s badge in his backyard after he returned home.
Thomas Sibick was arrested Friday in Buffalo, New York, according to court records. Sibick faces five charges, including obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, assaulting or impeding officers, and taking a thing of value by force or intimidation.
Sibick was caught on video assaulting MPD Officer Mike Fanone, who was tasered and assaulted by rioters, who dragged him into the mob as they tried to get into the Capitol. HuffPost previously reported on the identity of a man in a MAGA hat seen using a taser on Fanone during the attack.
MPD previously told HuffPost that there had been no arrests in the attack on Fanone, and Sibick’s arrest appears to be the first.
Fanone’s body camera footage shows his police radio and badge being ripped from his vest by Sibick, according to the affidavit. After the riot, Sibick posted images of himself holding a U.S. Capitol Police shield and attempting to enter the building with the mob.
FBI agents first interviewed Sibick on Jan. 27, and he acknowledged being in D.C. on the day of the Capitol insurrection. He told agents that he heard someone say to “get [Fanone’s] gun and kill him,” but claimed that he was trying to help the officer. In early February, Sibick once again denied taking part in the assault. But by late February, he said he needed to “recant” his prior statement, and admitted to grabbing the officer’s badge and radio. He said he dropped them in a trashcan in D.C., but later called up an agent and claimed he “wanted to do the right thing.”
Sibick, the FBI affidavit states, said he “had buried the badge in his backyard,” purchased a metal detector to find it, dug it up, and wanted to return it.
“Later that night, SIBICK met the agent and gave him a bag containing mud and Officer M.F.’s badge,” the affidavit stated.
A federal magistrate judge in New York ordered Sibick released, but on Friday, the government filed an emergency appeal asking a D.C. judge to order him back into government custody. Sibick, the government said, “participated in a violent riot and robbed an officer” on Jan. 6 and should be held because he was charged with a felony involving a crime of violence.
Read the affidavit below.