A D.C. Metropolitan police officer who was on the frontlines during the U.S. Capitol riot recalled his ordeal when members of the mob dragged him out of the Capitol building and threatened to kill him with his own gun.
In an interview with CNN, Officer Michael Fanone told the broadcaster that he was on desk duty last Wednesday when he joined his fellow officers at the Capitol to help quell the growing mob.
The 40-year-old was stationed in a narrow hallway when rioters dragged him out of the building and forced him to the ground. Footage of the violence was captured and shared on social media, depicting rioters stripping him of his gear. They took his ammunition and badge while tasing and beating him. Fanone described fearing for his life when he heard members of the mob threatening to kill him with his own gun.
“Some guys started getting a hold of my gun and they were screaming out, ‘Kill him with his own gun,'” Fanone told CNN.
Fanone said that he had no control of the mob and intended to use deadly force, but realized the futility of that action. He said that opening fire on the mob would have forced others to take him down and do much worse. Out of options, Fanone appealed to their humanity, telling the crowd that he was a father.
“The other option I thought of was to try to appeal to somebody’s humanity,” he said. “I just remember yelling out that I have kids. And it seemed to work.”
Fanone said that some members of the mob stepped in to shield him until he was rescued by fellow police officers, who pulled him back into the building. Fanone had words for his rescuers, including the protesters who defended him, stating, “thank you, but f**k you for being there.”
According to the New York Post, another Metropolitan police officer, Daniel Hodges, was filmed being crushed in a doorway by rioters inside the Capitol building. Hodges can be seen bleeding from the mouth and screaming for help. D.C. Police say that he is currently recovering.
Over 200 suspects have been identified for their role in the siege on the Capitol, many of whom have been charged. Investigators continue to look into the attack that left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer, Officer Brian Sicknick.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham has called for the creation of a joint task force to identify, arrest and charge members of the mob that besieged the seat of the U.S. government.