A geophysicist from Colorado admitted to authorities that he was “in a fit of rage” when he dragged a 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.
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 backpack as he dragged a cop 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 prosecutor said 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.
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.