The horrific footage shows the former marine attack the police officer "like a junkyard dog."
Former Marine Thomas Webster, who once served in a New York Police Department unit, was part of the mob of MAGA supporters who stormed the US Capitol and assaulted the cops trying to defend the building on January 6.
Footage from the riots captured the retired NYPD officer carrying a large metal flagpole with a red US Marines flag. Caught hurling obscene profanities at his former brothers in blue, Webster was seen aggressively attacking one officer from the Metropolitan Police Department with the metal flagpole, according to HuffPost.
Dubbed the "eye gouger" on social media for grabbing the officer's face in a hostile manner, Webster was captured lunging at the officer with the metal pole in his hands saying, "You fucking piece of sh*t. You f**king Commie motherfuckers Come on, take your shit off. Take your shit off."
When the officer managed to get the flagpole out of Webster's grip, the violent rioter used his bare hands to hold the officer to the ground and then tried to take off his face shield and gas mask. The officer was briefly choked in the attack that Webster unleashed in a fit of rage.
As investigations into the incident began, the FBI released photos of the 54-year-old accused, who is a married father of three, and was previously part of the unit that provided security at City Hall. On Monday, February 22, Webster turned himself in and was charged with six counts in connection with the attack, as reported by NBC New York.
New Photos: #FBIWFO is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying #145-AFO who made unlawful entry into the US Capitol & assaulted law enforcement on January 6th. If you have info on #145-AFO, call 1800CALLFBI or submit info to https://t.co/t8G7LO4hxu https://t.co/sX0CawLmee pic.twitter.com/BcKR9zxk8x— FBI Washington Field (@FBIWFO) January 28, 2021
Referring to the horrific footage of Webster during the attack, Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin A. Gianforti, said "these videos shock the conscience."
Gianforti accused him of going "after that cop like a junkyard dog -- teeth clenched and fists clenched."
With "a look of pure rage on the defendant’s face," Webster was seen with "his teeth are gritted," the prosecutor said. "This is a man who is about to unleash some kind of violence on somebody and, in fact, he did on that poor police officer."
On the other hand, Webster's lawyer, James Monroe claimed that the retired officer from the upstate New York town of Florida went to the US Capitol that day to participate in a lawful protest, as reported by The New York Times.
"He went there as an American citizen to protest, an event that was urged on by our former president—to protest an issue that Tom felt very strongly about," the lawyer said. "That’s protecting the Constitution."
But prosecutors implied that Webster went to the US Capitol that day prepared for violence. He was seen wearing a bulletproof vest and on the day of the riot, the NYPD veteran carried a gun with him to the premises.
#EyeGouger is wanted for assaulting a police officer and trying to gouge out his eye. If you know this person call the FBI’s Tipline at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) @DCPoliceDept @FBIWFOpic.twitter.com/cwnADdlaqn— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) January 30, 2021
"We believe he had a gun at the Capitol and thank God he didn't fire a shot then," prosecutors said, as quoted by NBC New York.
During court proceedings, judge Andrew E. Krause pointed out that Webster had a "proud and impressive record" back when he would don on the uniform to serve the public, and this makes the video footage all the more upsetting to watch. Webster is currently being held without bail and is awaiting another hearing.
Cover image source: (L) FBI Washington Field/Twitter and (R) Department of Justice