Jeffrey Sabol, a Capitol rioter accused of dragging a policeman down the steps during the siege, tries to flee to Switzerland


A geophysicist accused of dragging a policeman down the steps to be beaten by an American flag outside the United States Capitol on January 6 was taken into custody without bail on Friday after a prosecutor said the man then tried to flee to Switzerland and commit suicide.

White Plains-based US magistrate judge Andrew Krause told an electronic hearing that he found the alleged actions of Jeffrey Sabol, a 51-year-old man born in Utica, New York, “beyond of pallor and it is disturbing to some extent. this is really … shocking.

Krause said the allegations were “very disturbing, deeply disturbing” and that Sabol should remain behind bars as a danger to the community and risk of absconding. Sabol was arrested Friday morning at Westchester Medical Center.

“What we see is Mr. Sabol, part of a group of people dragging a law enforcement officer down the steps of a Capitol building, where this officer has been repeatedly assaulted by a number of people, apparently including Mr. Sabol, ”Krause says.

The judge said he also saw video footage of Sabol walking up the stairs after the first officer was dragged down to possibly look for someone else to “go down those stairs in the teeth of this crowd. who was at the Capitol that day “.

US Assistant Prosecutor Benjamin Gianforti said Sabol identified himself to law enforcement authorities as the man in the black gloves in the video wearing a brown or tan jacket, black or gray helmet and backpack green.

“We see the accused dragging a policeman down a staircase just outside the Capitol,” Gianforti said. “This allows another man, who is standing nearby, to ironically beat this policeman with an American flag, as the policeman is dragged down the stairs.”

The prosecutor said that other images show the accused holding a police baton across the neck of a police officer, and “we have reason to believe that he may have assaulted another police officer to obtain this. baton”.

Gianforti said Sabol offered investigators “self-serving statements” claiming he was trying to protect the officer, but also “admitted being angry that day and the details of the day were” cloudy. “

Gianforti noted the video evidence and said, “I would just say a picture is worth a thousand words.”

After the attack, the prosecutor said, Sabol booked a flight from Boston Logan International Airport to Zurich, Switzerland, where he could not be extradited to the United States.

Sabol’s attorney Jason Ser pleaded for his client’s release on $ 200,000 bail, claiming the man had a stable job for decades – Ser said Sabol’s job, in which he oversees other employees and contractors, involves removing unexploded ordnance from testing grounds for the military – and the breadwinner of the family which includes a longtime girlfriend, ex-wife, three children and parents.

He said the video of his client’s actions was not as clear as they had been described by a prosecutor and noted that Sabol was currently only charged with civil disobedience charges that carry a penalty. maximum potential of five years in prison.

He said his client was consistent, stable and cooperative with federal law enforcement authorities after receiving treatment in a mental institution for a week and spending several days at Westchester Medical Center.

Both the judge and prosecutor made reference to Sabol’s suicide attempts in the aftermath of the attack, although Ser told Pre-Trial Services that his client was no longer suicidal.

“I’m sorry for what Mr Sabol has been through since leaving Capitol Hill, but I think, Your Honor, that his suicide attempts can be seen as a guilt conscience and in some ways really the escape attempt. ultimate, ”Gianforti said. “He’s a man who just can’t cope with the fact that he faces a felony charge because of his actions on January 6.”

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