April 27 (UPI) — D.C. police officer Noah Rathbun testified in the trial of Thomas Webster on Wednesday that the former New York City officer tackled him to the ground and grabbed his helmet to the point where he could not breathe during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Webster is on trial for beating Rathbun as rioters breached the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and interrupted the Electoral College vote being conducted by the House and Senate in 2021. Webster, a former Marine and security detail of Michael Bloomberg when he was mayor, is claiming self-defense in the incident, saying he was provoked by D.C. authorities.
Different videos from the incident showed Webster, who was among a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump, shoving the metal barricade into Rathbun twice before the D.C. officer struck Webster with an open hand.
Webster’s attorney described Rathbun’s reaction as a punch and that their client showed “restraint.”
Rathbun said Webster would eventually drag him to the ground and try to tear off his gas mask.
“He grabbed my helmet and started pulling me forward,” Rathbun said, according to NBC News. “The chin strap was across my throat. I was not able to breathe.”
Webster was among numerous law enforcement officers in the crowd that day supporting Trump. On April 11, a jury found former Virginia police officer Thomas Robertson guilty of obstruction of the official electoral count by Congress and five other charges.