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Justice Department charges Capitol rioter who allegedly tased and assaulted officer with flagpole

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The Justice Department has charged a Capitol rioter who allegedly tased DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, who later spoke out about how he pleaded with the pro-Trump mob to spare his life.

In court documents unsealed Wednesday, federal prosecutors said Daniel Rodriguez used an “electroshock weapon” and a flagpole to assault an officer named “M.F.” from Washington DC’s Metropolitan Police Department. A law enforcement source confirmed to CNN that the initials are a reference to Fanone.

Fanone has previously said he was tased several times in the neck, beaten with a flagpole and heard rioters screaming that they should “kill him with his own gun,” while they tried to pull his weapon out of its holster. Fanone said he begged the pro-Trump mob to spare him, and that he suffered a heart attack from the Taser.

Rodriguez was indicted on eight charges stemming from the Capitol insurrection including assaulting an officer, theft of government property and disorderly conduct on the US Capitol grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon. A lawyer for Rodriguez is not listed in the public court docket, and he has not yet entered a plea.

Prosecutors have charged at least one other person who was allegedly involved in the assault on Fanone. Prosecutors said Thomas Sibick was seen on police body-camera footage assaulting Fanone while he lay on the ground outside the Capitol during the riot. During the brawl outside the Capitol, Sibick allegedly grabbed Fanone’s badge and radio, and he later posted a photo of himself holding a police shield on Facebook, court filings said.

More than 345 people have been charged so far in connection to the Capitol insurrection, including dozens who are accused of violent attacks on law enforcement. About 140 police officers sustained injuries during the riot.

The details surrounding the arrests draw a stark contrast to how former President Donald Trump has sought to characterize the insurrection he helped incite.

The former President falsely claimed in an interview with Fox News last week that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol earlier this year in an attack that left five dead, including a police officer, posed “zero threat.” He also claimed that some of the rioters “went in, and they are hugging and kissing the police and the guards.”

Terry Fanone, the officer’s mother, told CNN’s Don Lemon on “CNN Tonight” Monday that when she thinks about Trump’s recent comments, “What goes through my mind is really outrage.”

“For us, for our family, and for each and every police officer that I know that Michael’s in touch with constantly, it’s outrageous. It’s so dehumanizing. It’s so devaluing,” she said.

In addition to the heart attack, Fanone suffered a concussion on January 6 and is now dealing with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

This story has been updated with additional background.

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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