Patrick McCaughey arrested for assaulting cop, crushing him in doorway during Trump-fueled Capitol riot

D.C. Police Officer Daniel Hodges

NBCWashington

A Connecticut man has been arrested on charges that he assaulted a Washington police officer, whom he pinned between two doors, during the Jan. 6 riot by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol.

Patrick Edward McCaughey III, 23, of Ridgefield, repeatedly told Metropolitian Police Officer Daniel Hodges “just go home” and “come on man, you are going to get squished” as he pinned Hodges between a police riot shield that McCaughey was holding and the doors, a criminal complaint said.

As McCaughey did so, another rioter “began violently ripping off Officer Hodges’ gas mask, exposing Officer Hodges bloodied mouth,” said the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

“Don’t try and use that stick on me boy,” McCaughey snapped at Hodges, referring to a police riot baton.

Hodges is seen on a YouTube video of the attack crying out in pain as a horde of supporters of then-President Donald Trump pushed in against him, adding their weight to McCaughey’s.

McCaughey was spotted leaving the Capitol later by security cameras after hitting other cops with the riot shield, according to the complaint.

Patrick Edward McCaughey III as pictured in a Federal criminal complaint

Source: FBI Public Affairs Office

Hodges survived the attack, but a Capitol police officer was beaten by other rioters elsewhere and died a day later.

Hodges later told reporters about his effort to hold back the mob: “If it wasn’t my job, I would have done that for free.”

“It was absolutely my pleasure to crush a white nationalist insurrection, and we’ll do it as many times as it takes,” Hodges said.

McCaughey was arrested Tuesday evening by FBI agents at his father’s second home in South Salem, New York, not far from his hometown, after someone phoned in a tip about him.

A prosecutor said that the brown jacket that McCaughey was seen wearing on the riot video was recovered during that arrest.

He appeared for a bail hearing in federal court in White Plains, New York, on Wednesday on charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees; civil disorder; entering restricted building or grounds; and violent entry or disorderly conduct.

A judge ordered him held without bail pending trial, agreeing with a prosecutor that “Mr. McCaughey would pose a danger to the community if he were to be released.”

“What we see in the video is incredibly disturbing,” the judge said. “The weight of the evidence against Mr. McCaughey is extremely strong.”

The prosecutor had noted that McCaughey faces the likelihood of a prison sentence of, at minimum, five years or more if he pleads guilty, or at least seven years if he is convicted after trial.

McCaughey’s lawyer asked for bond of $150,000 for the suspect, who in addition to U.S. citizenship also holds German citizenship. The attorney noted that McCaughey had made the honor roll in high school, where he played football, and had strong family ties in Fairfield County, Connecticut, where he works with his father, also named Patrick, in general contracting projects.

McCaughey’s father hung up on a CNBC reporter when contacted for comment about his son’s arrest.

The video of the assault on Hodges went viral, as did other shocking images of Trump supporters rampaging in and around the Capitol in their failed effort to prevent Congress from formally confirming the election of President Joe Biden. A joint session of Congress confirmed Biden’s win early the next morning.

“The vicious attack on Officer Hodges was abhorrent and quintessentially un-American,” said acting District of Columbia U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin in a statement.

“It is my pledge that anyone involved in violent attacks on law enforcement at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. McCaughey’s alleged actions were an assault on Officer Hodges, the Capitol, and the rule of law itself,” he said.

Steven D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, said, “Even after days of seeing so many shocking and horrific scenes from the siege on the U.S. Capitol, the savage beating of DC Metropolitan Police Officer Hodges stands out for the perpetrator’s blatant disregard for human life.”

“Patrick McCaughey’s actions were violent, barbaric, and completely out of control,” he added. “The FBI will relentlessly pursue individuals who took part in this activity and we will continue our unwavering commitment to ensure all those responsible for assaults on law enforcement officers are brought to justice.”

Biden was sworn into office Wednesday, hours after Trump departed Washington without attending the inauguration, a highly unusual breach of presidential etiquette.

The House of Representatives last week impeached Trump for inciting the mob with his speech outside the White House shortly before the attack on the Capitol. The Senate is expected to hold a trial to determine whether to convict Trump and, possibly, to bar him for life from federal office.

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