An ex-NYPD cop and former Marine has been sentenced to a decade in prison after brutally attacking a police officer at the January 6 Capitol Riots. Thomas Webster, 56, was wearing body armor when he attempted to break apart police barricades and later choked D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officer Noah Rathbun. Webster’s sentence is the longest sentence to yet be handed to anyone at the Capitol Riots.
Thomas Webster Was Convicted of 6 Charges for Role in Capitol Riot
A jury found Thomas Webster guilty of six charges this past May. He was convicted of entering and remaining in restricted grounds with a dangerous weapon; assaulting, resisting, or impeding an officer using a dangerous weapon; civil disorder; engaging in physical violence in restricted grounds with a dangerous weapon, and engaging in an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds.
In addition to his 10-year sentence, Webster was given 3 years of supervised probation and ordered to pay over $2,000 in restitution.
The maximum sentence that could have been handed to Webster would have been 20 years. The DOJ asked for 17.5. While Webster’s sentence is the longest yet to be handed down to those found guilty of crimes at the Capitol, some may say he was let off easy.
Body Armor Added 30 Months to His Sentence
Because Webster was wearing body armor, Judge Amit Mehta applied a 4-level enhancement — or 30 months — to his sentence.
Webster initially claimed he was engaging in self-defense against officer Rathbun during trial testimony. However, at the sentencing hearing, his tone changed. Webster tearfully apologized to officer Rathbun. He said that he was overcome with violent political rhetoric and his emotions clouded his judgement.
Video footage showed Webster wearing a bulletproof vest and yelling at officer Rathbun to “take your s— off!” Webster was waving a Marine Corps flag as he pushed to the front of a crowd. He used the pole of the flag to try to break apart bike racks that the D.C. police had set as barricades. Webster then tackled officer Rathbun, pulling his gas mask off and attempting to choke him with the chin strap.
Webster served in the Marine Corps from 1985 to 1989. He then served as a New York Police Department officer for 20 years, from 1991 to 2011.
U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves gave the following statement about Webster’s sentence:
“As a former Marine and retired police officer, Thomas Webster could readily see the growing dangers to law enforcement when he and other members of the mob targeted the Capitol on January 6th. He chose to escalate the situation, brutally going on the attack. Today’s sentence holds him accountable for his repeated attacks of an officer that day.”U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves
The Capitol Riots led to numerous fatalities. Not only were D.C. police and rioters injured or killed during the mayhem, but some D.C. officers later committed suicide. Notably, President Trump was quickly impeached for his role in the historic violence, although he was not removed from office. Further investigations are ongoing as Congress’ Jan. 6 Committee continues its deliberations.