Two more officers testify that Kyle Fitzsimons assaulted them in Capitol riot
WASHINGTON, DC (WMTW) - On the second of the Jan. 6 trial of Kyle Fitzsimons, 38, of Lebanon, Maine, federal prosecutors called two more police officers to testify and describe their violent encounters with Capitol rioters, including Fitzsimons.
As Fitzsimons looked on from the defense table, prosecutors replayed videos of the mob trying to breach the Capitol’s western entrance, where police held them back for hours, holding the line in a tunnel-like doorway.
Metropolitan Police Officer Sarah Beaver testified how she was hit with stolen police batons, and that other objects like metal poles and fire extinguishers flew their way.
Prosecutor Douglass Brasher played police body camera video showing Beaver wearing her ballistic helmet with her badge number, 2300, getting hit in the head by a wooden pole that flew through the air.
“I didn’t know what it was at the time,” Beaver said.
Brasher also played video showing an arm with a white sleeve wielding the object.
“Did you see the person who threw the object?” Brasher asked.
“No,” Beaver replied. She said the impact pushed her head to the side.
Prosecutors say that was the bow Fitzsimons has admitted bringing to Washington.
Fitzsimons was wearing a white butcher jacket that day with his name, “Kyle,” embroidered on the front.
Later, Capitol police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell testified how he saw Fitzsimons to the left of the tunnel doorway in a white coat, then grabbing his riot shield and shoulder strap and dragging him to the ground.
“I felt a shooting pain right away,” Gonell said.
His left shoulder would later require surgery.
“He was pulling me to the crowd,” Gonell testified, a prospect so dangerous he considered firing his gun in self-defense.
“I contemplated using my handgun,” Gonell said.
Instead, Gonell said, he struck Fitzsimons two or three times on his arms with a baton to break his grip.
A third officer Fitzsimons allegedly assaulted, Phuson Nguyen, testified Tuesday the defendant grabbed his gas mask during the melee, exposing him to tear gas that gave him trouble breathing and burned his skin and eyes – another moment captured on police body cam video.
During her cross-examinations of the officers, Fitzsimons defense attorney Natasha Taylor-Smith tried to cast doubt on what can be seen clearly in the frenetic videos, sometimes reviewing them frame by frame in slow motion.
How the officers can be sure Fitzsimons did anything to them?
Prosecutor Michael Gordon asked Gonnell. “How can you be sure in all this chaos that it was the defendant who pulled your shield?”
Gonnell replied, “Because no one else was wearing a white jacket.”
On Thursday, prosecutors plan to call FBI Agents to describe their search of Fitzsimons’ home and rest their case.
Taylor-Smith said she does not plan to call any defense witnesses.
U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras is deciding the case, as Fitzsimons waived his right to a jury trial.
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