A former NYPD cop was convicted by a federal jury Monday of assaulting a police officer during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The disgraced ex-lawman, Thomas Webster, had claimed he was trying to protect himself from a “rogue cop” who smacked him in the face as the violent mob descended on the Capitol.
Webster, 56, testified that the Metropolitan Police Officer, Noah Rathbun, provoked the fight – an argument the jury rejected after it appeared to be disproved by body-worn camera footage.
The footage showed Webster belligerently yelling at Rathbun about his free speech rights while positioned behind a row of bike racks.
The unhinged Goshen, New York, resident then flung one of the racks at the cop, who responded by smacking Webster in the face with an open hand.
Webster swung a metal flag pole at Rathbun, but missed and smashed it into one of the bike racks, according to the footage.
He then rushed Rathbun, tackling him to the ground and reaching for his gas mask during the struggle.
The federal prosecutor who tried the case told jurors in his closing argument that the attack on Rathbun was not an instance of self-defense, as Webster had claimed.
“Don’t let the defendant off the hook for what he did that day,” Assistant US Attorney Brian Kelly said.
Webster, a 20-year veteran of the NYPD, did not enter Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, when supporters of Donald Trump stormed the building in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Biden’s 2020 election win.
More than 780 people have been charged for crimes they allegedly committed at the insurrection, including nearly 250 who face charges for assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
Webster was the first Capitol riot defendant to be tried on an assault charge. He could face up to 20 years in prison at his sentencing.
The ex-cop retired from the NYPD in 2011 after two decades on the job, including a stint on former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s security detail.
With Post wires