A New York man charged with assaulting a police officer during the deadly Capitol riot has asked a judge for permission to use dating websites while confined at his parents’ house.
Thomas Sibick, of Buffalo, was part of a mob that Trump urged to “fight like hell” to overturn his election defeat by Joe Biden.
In a court filing on Christmas Day, his lawyer said he “realises that if he were to meet someone on a social media site, he would be unable to leave his home for the purpose of going to dinner or to participate in other events. He does, however, feel the need to establish some sort of connection with someone (if possible, in light of his situation).”
Five people died around events at the Capitol on 6 January, including a police officer and a rioter shot by law enforcement. Lawmakers hid or were hustled to safety as some rioters sought figures including Vice-President Mike Pence to capture or possibly kill.
Sibick, 36, awaits trial. He is alleged to have taken part in an “ongoing violent assault” of the former Washington police officer Michael Fanone, “ripping off [his] radio – his lifeline for help – and his badge”.
Fanone was seriously injured and has become a leading voice seeking accountability for the rioters and those who urged them on, giving emotional testimony to the House select committee investigating the attack. He announced last week that he had resigned as a police officer, to join CNN.
Capitol riot police officer: ‘I was at risk of being killed with my own firearm’ – video
Earlier this year, Sibick sought to escape the company of other Capitol rioters in a Washington jail, even volunteering for solitary confinement.
In October, Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered Sibick to enter home confinement under supervision of his parents. He is not allowed to attend political rallies, use social media or watch talk shows on cable news.
“There will only be one chance,” Judge Jackson said then. “If you violate my conditions, it will indicate my trust was misplaced.”
Nonetheless, in a filing first reported by Business Insider, Sibick sought permission to use social media to look for a job and to “interact with members of the opposite gender for the purpose of establishing a friendship”.
His attorney, Stephen Brennwald, wrote: “He is not seeking to use any social media application for any prohibited purpose, such as for political engagement, news reading, or any other activity that would violate not only the letter, but the spirit, of his release conditions.”
Sibick has said he now views the Capitol attack as “without question unconscionable”, a “disgrace to our nation” and “a scar Trump is ultimately responsible for”.
But he …….