Politics

Capitol rioter Jeffrey Sabol dragged cop to be beaten with a flagpole 'in a fit of rage,' prosecutor says

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Key Points
  • A geophysicist from Colorado admitted he was "in a fit of rage" when he dragged a police officer to be viciously beaten by another man with a flagpole bearing an American flag, a prosecutor said.
  • Jeffrey Sabol tried to kill himself after the riot and also bought a plane ticket from Boston to Zurich, Switzerland, the prosecutor said.
  • A judge ordered Sabol held without bond on charges related to the riot, where a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.
  • A New York City sanitation worker was also arraigned on charges related to the riot.
A Washington, D.C., police officer was beaten during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by Peter Stager (in red box) with a flag pole after being dragged by Jeffrey Sabol (leaning over officer with baton in hand, wearing brown jacket, helmet and green backpack), prosecutors say.
Source: FBI

A geophysicist from Colorado admitted to authorities that he was "in a fit of rage" when he dragged a Washington, D.C., police officer to be viciously beaten by a man with a flagpole and others during the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, a prosecutor revealed.

The suspect, Jeffrey Sabol, tried to kill himself sometime after the riot and also bought a plane ticket from Boston to Zurich, Switzerland, the prosecutor said at Sabol's arraignment hours after his arrest at a Westchester County, New York, hospital Friday morning.

"He has the financial wherewithal to flee these charges," Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Gianforti said during a hearing conducted over videoconference and phone in U.S. District Court in White Plains, New York.

The prosecutor said authorities have reason to believe that Sabol may "have assaulted another police officer" with a baton that he is seen wielding during the riot.

A man identified as Peter Stager in images -- taken from videos -- which appeared in an arrest warrant.
Source: FBI

Sabol "admitted to being in a fit of rage" during the attack on the cop and told authorities that his memory from much of the rest of the day on Jan. 6 is foggy, Gianforti told Judge Andrew Krause.

Krause ordered Sabol, 51, held without bond on a criminal complaint filed against him in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., calling him a danger to the community and a risk of flight.

"That conduct is beyond the pale," Krause said in ordering Sabol's detention on a charge of civil disorder.

"These are extremely serious actions and these actions have consequences," the judge told Sabol, a divorced father of three who grew up in New York state and whose sister is a colonel in the U.S. Army.

Sabol, authorities said, is seen during the riot on a widely viewed video wearing a brown jacket, a helmet and a green backpack as he dragged a Metropolitan Police Department officer on the ground in front of the Capitol, where another rioter began hitting the officer with a flagpole bearing an American flag.

Gianforti noted what he called the "irony" of the officer being assaulted with the U.S. flag during the riot by a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump, who were opposed to Congress confirming the election win of President Joe Biden.

The man who pummeled the officer with the flag pole has been identified by federal prosecutors as Peter Stager, an Arkansas resident who was arrested last week in his home state on a charge of civil disorder.

Stager was ordered held without bond during a federal court hearing in Arkansas later Friday afternoon.

Gianforti on Friday said that police in Clarkstown, New York, found Sabol in his car on Jan. 11, but did not detail why Sabol was not arrested that day.

Sabol's court-appointed attorney, Jason Ser, who asked that Sabol be released on a $200,000 bond, told Krause that Sabol spent a week in a psychiatric center receiving treatment after the riot.

Ser said the defendant is now stable. He also said Sabol plans to retain a private attorney.

A man identified as Peter Stager in images -- taken from videos -- which appeared in an arrest warrant.
Source: FBI

The lawyer said Sabol's work history is "second to none" and that his most recent job was removing unexploded ordnance from federal land for a Colorado environmental company.

The president of the company where Sabol works declined to comment, saying he had only just learned from a CNBC reporter that Sabol had been arrested in connection with the Capitol riot.

NYC sanitation worker also arraigned

Also Friday, a New York City sanitation worker was arraigned on charges of participating in the riot.

The defendant, Dominick Madden, was identified in videos posted online showing him at the Capitol Hill insurrection wearing a sweatshirt supporting right-wing conspiracy QAnon. The New York Post first reported his identification on Jan. 14.

Madden was arraigned in the federal court in Brooklyn by Magistrate Judge Ramon Reyes Jr.

Madden, 43, was charged in the District of Columbia with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, knowingly engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct in any restricted building or grounds, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capital grounds.

According to an affidavit submitted by an FBI agent in support of the complaint, Madden took a sick leave from his employment with the city's Department of Sanitation during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. The department has since suspended Madden, the affidavit said.

Madden was released on a $150,000 bond, with his sister and brother-in-law's Middletown, New Jersey, home listed as collateral.