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Ridgefield man charged with assaulting officer who was seen being crushed against door during U.S. Capitol riot

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTNH) — A Ridgefield man was charged Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with assaulting a police officer during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Patrick Edward McCaughey III was charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees, civil disorder, entering restricted building or grounds and violent entry or disorderly conduct.

The charges came after a video was posted to YouTube that captured a group of rioters attempting to break through the line of uniformed officers, who were trying to prevent rioters from entering the lower west terrace door of the U.S. Capitol. In the front line of rioters, investigators said they were able to identify McCaughey.

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According to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice, “McCaughey can be seen using a clear police riot shield to physically push against the left side of an officer’s body. The officer was pinned between the clear police riot shield being held by McCaughey and the lower west terrace door.”

Officials added that while McCaughey was pinning down the officer, a separate rioter was “violently ripping off the officer’s gas mask, exposing the officer’s bloodied mouth.” McCaughey was then seen using the riot shield to push against the officer, while numerous rioters appeared to add to the weight against the officer, crushing him.

The officer was identified as D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Hodges.

Officer Hodges told reporters after the attack, “I got pinned through the small back and forth we had, and I was fighting for every inch. There was nothing I could do to defend myself at this point, so I just started screaming at the top of my lungs for them to get me a way out or a line of retreat.”

Court documents obtained by News 8 allege that McCaughey willingly traveled to D.C. to join a crowd that forcibly entered the grounds of the Capitol.

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The U.S. Department of Justice said that McCaughey will be presented in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Wednesday, before appearing in Washington D.C. He is being held without bail.

Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin released the following statement on the charges:

The vicious attack on Officer Hodges was abhorrent and quintessentially un-American. 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.

Steven M. D’Antuono, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, also released the following statement:

Even after days of seeing so many shocking and horrific scenes from the siege on the U.S. Capitol, the savage beating of D.C. 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. 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.

The case is now being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, with assistance from the FBI’s New Haven and New York Field Offices, the U.S. Capitol Police Department and the Metropolitan Police Department.

RELATED: FBI releases photos, offers $50k reward for suspect who placed pipe bombs in DC

The ATF and FBI are urging the public to report suspected use of explosive devices or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone can call 1 (888) ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or submit information anonymously via ReportIt.com.

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