WASHINGTON — A US District Court Judge reversed a ruling from a magistrate judge in upstate New York to release a man on bond accused of being part of a violent mob that viscously attacked a DC Police Officer during the Capitol Riot.
Court documents allege Thomas Sibick, of Buffalo, ripped the police badge and radio off the vest of MPD Officer Mike Fanone as Fanone was brutally attacked by a mob on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Court documents say Fanone was beaten, tased, robbed of his police equipment and ultimately knocked unconscious.
Weeks later Fanone talked about what he remembered.
“Guys were like grabbing gear off my vest,” Fanone told WUSA9’s Bruce Leshan. “I remember guys chanting, like 'Kill him with his own gun!'”
Last week, Sibick was arrested and charged with being part of that viscous attack. Charging documents included an alleged photo of Sibnick posing during the riot, holding a US Capitol Police riot shield.
Sibick is accused of robbing Officer Fanone of this MPD-issued radio and badge. Charging documents included images taken from Fanone’s own body cam of Sibick allegedly ripping the equipment right off the officer’s vest.
Sibick’s explanation? Court documents say he claimed he was actually trying to be a hero and help Officer Fanone by pulling him out of the mob.
A magistrate judge in upstate New York denied prosecutors’ request to keep Sibick behind bars without bond pending trial, opting instead for home incarceration at his parent’s house in upstate New York. But the government filed an emergency appeal, arguing Sibick presents a danger to the community based on the nature of the violent attack he’s accused of, and because he allegedly lied to investigators in three different interviews about what he did with Officer Fanone’s badge.
Prosecutors say Sibick first claimed he tossed it in the trash along with his police radio, but ultimately admitted he buried that badge it in his backyard. Investigators never did find out for sure what happened to Fanone’s radio.
Tuesday afternoon a US District Court Judge in DC sent Sibick back to jail overruling the previous judge’s decision to allow him to post bond. She cited a 2015 conviction for failing to obey a police officer officers’ direction, and his repeated alleged lies to investigators about what he did with the Officers badge after the attack, as evidence Sibick could not be trusted to follow court orders while out on bond before trial.
The judge also ruled the nature of what Sibick is accused of doing and the strength of the evidence against him strongly favor detaining him.
The judge issued a new arrest warrant for Thomas Sibick but he will have an opportunity to turn himself into federal authorities in upstate New York, before being transferred to a holding cell in DC.