Ex-NYPD officer from Orange County convicted of assaulting US Capitol Police officer during Jan. 6 riot in DC

Thomas Webster, a 20-year NYPD veteran, was the first Capitol riot defendant to be tried on an assault charge and the first to present a jury with a self-defense argument.

Jonathan Gordon

May 2, 2022, 4:12 PM

Updated 804 days ago


An Orange County man faces up to 20 years in federal prison for assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police officer during the Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C.
Village of Florida native Thomas Webster is the first Capitol rioter to be tried on an assault charge and the first to use a self-defense argument
The former NYPD officer was convicted Monday of swinging a metal flagpole at a Capitol Police officer then choking him with his gas mask during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The jury convicted him on all six counts, including assault.
Former criminal prosecutor Dan Schorr says this case sets an important precedent.
"People can see that even if you are someone who is a 20-year NYPD veteran you are still held to the same standard as other people," says Schorr.
Webster admitted he drove from Orange County to Washington, D.C. to petition lawmakers to "relook" at the results of the 2020 election - though he claims he didn't intend to physically interfere with Congress' certification.
Defense attorney James Monroe argued Webster was acting in self-defense and accused the Capitol officer of attacking first.
"We're disappointed you know, but we recognized from the beginning that the folks here in D.C. were quite traumatized by what transpired on January 6th and I think we saw some of this expressed," says Monroe.
The assault charge carries a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.
He's likely to get less than that when he's sentenced on Sept 2. Federal sentencing guidelines take a lot of factors into consideration, including the fact Webster doesn't have a prior arrests and his time served in the military and as a police officer.

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