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Capitol rioter from Buffalo charged for allegedly assaulting officer, burying badge in his backyard

Thomas Sibick
Posted at 5:30 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 20:30:13-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Department of Justice has unsealed charges against a Buffalo, New York, man who allegedly assaulted a DC police officer, hiding his badge in his backyard.

FBI agents have identified Thomas Sibick of Buffalo as one of the rioters who allegedly participated in the attacks against MPD Officer Michael Fanone.

FBI agents in Buffalo began interviewing a witness in January regarding any information relating to the attacks on the United States Capitol on January 6.

The witness told the FBI that Sibick allegedly posted a video of the riot to his Instagram account, and the witness then provided the video to agents.

The video allegedly shows Sibick yelling, "just got tear-gassed, but we’re going, baby, we’re going! We’re pushing forward now!"

Later that month, investigators interviewed another witness who was close to Sibick, who provided investigators with a photo they received from someone, showing a photo Sibick allegedly posted on his Facebook account showing him with a U.S. Capitol Police riot shield.

After investigators reviewed footage of the Capitol riots, they found a man who appeared to be Sibick allegedly going inside the Capitol moving towards a police line that was set up.

Agents then interviewed Sibick on January 27, who acknowledged that he was at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, according to documents.

Sibick then claimed that he heard someone say, "Get his gun and kill him" to a Capitol police officer, and that he attempted to reach the officer to pull him away, and said that he then left out of fears of violence.

When asked about the riot shield he was photographed holding, Sibick claimed that the riot shield was being passed around the crowd, and that he asked someone to take a photo of him holding it, according to agents.

Sibick claims that he was not planning on using the riot shields, when he was interviewed by investigators.

A few days later, Sibick then contacted one of the agents that previously interviewed him, saying that he was going to provide investigators with more information about the individuals that assaulted the police officer.

Investigators say they asked Sibick if he had any different information to add to his previous interview with agents, to which Sibick reportedly said, "no," and that his answers to the previous interviews were all truthful.

Then Sibick was asked by an agent if he was one of the people who assaulted the officer to which Sibick replied, "no," according to documents.

Three weeks after that, Sibick was interviewed by agents, after investigators found that a person consistent with Sibick's appearance was shown on police body cam footage from the police officer.

When asked about this, Sibick allegedly admitted to grabbing the officer’s badge and radio, then stating that he tried to help the officer, and claims that the badge was coming off the officer when he was reaching for him.

Sibick then claims he pressed the orange emergency button on the radio to call for help for the officer, claiming that he dropped the badge and the radio in a trash can on Constitution Avenue in Washington, later saying that he was afraid to be arrested, which was why he claims he didn't return the badge and radio to police.

Later in that interview, Sibick allegedly said he needed to "recant" his previous statement, saying he actually brought back the badge and radio to his hotel room, and then home to Buffalo.

Sibick then claims he was going to return the badge and the radio to FBI agents in Buffalo, but then said he was afraid to be arrested so he claims he dropped them off in a dumpster in the alleway of the Lenox Hotel on North Street in Buffalo.

A couple of days later, an agent told Sibick via email that they were going to check security cameras at the Lenox Hotel to confirm Sibick's claims.

A day after that, Sibick allegedly told agents that he wanted to do the right thing, and said that he did not dispose of the badge in the dumpster behind the Lenox Hotel, rather that he buried it in his backyard, claiming that he used a metal detector to dig up the badge and that he wanted to return it, saying that he threw away the radio.

Later that night, Sibick allegedly returned the badge in a plastic bag to investigators, seen below.

This article was written by Paul Ross for WKBW.

Badge of Michael Fanone allegedly placed in a plastic baggy and handed to FBI agents by Thomas Sibick.