DENVER – The Colorado man charged with committing civil disorder at the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6 admitted to federal investigators he was the man seen on the Capitol steps allegedly beating several police officers, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday.
The affidavit and federal criminal complaint shed some new light on the arrest of Jeffrey Sabol and his alleged actions at the Capitol after news of his arrest and some details of a suicide attempt came out in a federal district court hearing in the Southern District of New York last week.
Sabol, who is a geophysicist from Colorado, was arrested on Jan. 11 in New City, New York. According to a criminal complaint, police officers pulled Sabol over after seeing his vehicle driving erratically.
The officers found him covered in blood, with severe lacerations to both his thighs and arms. “I am tired, I am done fighting,” he allegedly told officers, adding that his wounds were self-inflicted and that he was “wanted by the FBI” after “fighting tyranny in the DC Capitol,” according to the federal complaint.
Inside the car, officers found razor blades, notes with a computer password, Sabol’s passport, Social Security card, an airline e-ticket, rental car agreement and several electronic devices. The Associated Press reported that the airline ticket was a ticket to Switzerland from Boston.
Also found in his vehicle, according to the complaint, was a green backpack and tan Carhartt jacket that investigators had previously seen Sabol wearing in videos and pictures found in news reports and on the internet of the riots outside the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Sabol spent several days in a hospital after his suicide attempt and was interviewed by law enforcement officials on both Jan. 12 and 13, according to the criminal complaint.
Prior to his arrest, FBI investigators had witnessed a man – later identified as Sabol – who grabbed a police officer, dragged him down the Capitol stairs, forced him down and hit him repeatedly in the head and body. He then failed to grab another officer by the leg, but was kicked away, before grabbing another officer, pulling him down the stairs and punching him, according to Sabol’s criminal complaint. The man was wearing a tan jacket, black helmet, green backpack and black gloves.
During Sabol’s conversations with investigators while at the hospital, according to the criminal complaint, he told officers he was indeed the man in the video and photos. But he tried to tell them that rather than assaulting the officers, as was seen by FBI special agents in the video, he was helping them.
He made claims throughout the conversations that he was “patting [an officer] on the back” rather than punching him and claimed he “covered the police officer for his own safety” rather than standing over an officer and beating him.
But he also told investigators, according to the complaint, that he “answered the call because he was a patriot” after some people outside the Capitol announced a “call to battle” that day. He would go on to steal an officer’s baton and allegedly beat that officer with it, though he claimed he was trying to “protect the officer.”
But he also told the investigators that “he could not recall if he hit the police officer with the baton because he was in a fit of rage and the details are cloudy,” according to the complaint.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Gianforti said in a court hearing last week that Sabol’s claims were nothing but claims: “I would just submit that a picture is worth a thousand words,” he said, according to The Associated Press.
SDNY Magistrate Judge Andrew E. Krause denied Sabol bond pending his preliminary hearing, saying he is a flight risk. Sabol’s case will be heard in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. His preliminary hearing was tentatively scheduled for Feb. 19.
Sabol is one of four Colorado men – and a fifth who traveled to Washington, D.C., from Colorado – who have been charged in the District Court of D.C. with various federal crimes for their alleged participation in the insurrection both inside and outside the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Robert Gieswein, 24, of Woodland Park, faces charges for allegedly assaulting a Capitol police officer during the Jan. 6 riots and is being held in federal custody for the time being.
Patrick Montgomery, 48, of Douglas County, faces charges of knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. He was granted release pending his next court date by a federal judge in Colorado.
Klete Keller, a former Olympic gold medalist swimmer from Colorado Springs, was released on a personal recognizance bond after his first appearance; and Cleveland Grover Meredith Jr., a man who long lived in Georgia who is being held in custody after he allegedly traveled from Colorado to D.C. armed several firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and threatened to assassinate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was denied release earlier this month.