Judge Doesn't Believe Accused Attacker Was Trying to Help

Man charged with taking DC cop's badge, radio denied bond in hearing Friday
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2021 12:10 PM CDT

The man who took DC cop Michael Fanone’s badge and radio said he was just trying to help, and a federal judge isn’t buying it. Thomas Sibick has been in jail since he was arrested in mid-March on several charges including assaulting police, WUSA reports. In a hearing Friday, Sibick sought to be released until trial. His lawyer argued that Fanone’s bodycam video footage shows him not wrenching away the police officer’s badge and radio. Instead he claimed Sibick was just extending a helping hand to lift Fanone up. Fanone has said he was beaten, lost consciousness after he got to safety, and that doctors told him he had suffered a brain injury and a mild heart attack. US District Judge Amy B. Jackson was not persuaded by the argument presented by Sibick and his lawyer, Stephen Brennwald.

Jackson, responding to Brennwald’s claim that Sibick is a helpful person by nature, said, “he was not helping on January 6.” Acknowledging that Sibick’s claim that he pushed the emergency button on Fanone’s radio is technically true, Jackson pointed out that he waited about 18 minutes to do so, after Fanone had already escaped the crush of the mob, and after he had paused to pose for a photo with a stolen riot shield. “Yes, and that’s not a good look,” Brennwald said, per Courthouse News. Jackson also acknowledged that Sibick has been on his best behavior in jail, but pointed out that before his arrest he lied to investigators about what had happened to Fanone’s badge and radio, eventually confessing that he’d buried the badge in his backyard. Sibick’s family, who had not seen him in months, were in the courtroom, and Sibick was crying, CNN reports. (More Michael Fanone stories.)

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