A former Tennessee deputy sheriff who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 while wearing his sheriff’s vest is now behind bars, CNN reports.
Ronald McAbee, 27, was arrested on Tuesday after a person who recognized him from police body cam footage on the FBI’s “most wanted” website tipped off authorities. In the footage, McAbee reportedly can be seen grabbing a police officer and dragging him into the mb of rioting Trump supporters. As CNN points out, he was still employed as a deputy sheriff at the time of the Capitol riot. McAbee’s sheriff’s vest also sported a patch for the right-wing militia group Three Percenters.
The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office told CNN that McAbee, who worked there from November 2020 until March, was no longer employed, although they wouldn’t explain whether his departure was connected to his charges.
McAbee is charged with assaulting an officer and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds. He has not yet entered a plea.
One DC police officer, identified in court papers only as A.W., was thrown to the ground by the mob. Prosecutors say McAbee and another rioter grabbed A.W. and began to pull him down the Capitol steps. Another officer tried to save A.W, but McAbee allegedly punched the second officer repeatedly while wearing metal-knuckled gloves. McAbee then allegedly turned back to A.W., and successfully dragged him down the steps and into the crowd.
After the riot, A.W. was hospitalized and received staples in his head to stop his bleeding.
“The fact that McAbee engaged in violent assaults of fellow law enforcement officers while he himself was a sheriff’s deputy and then attempted to use that status to obtain special treatment is powerful evidence of his lack of regard for legal authority,” prosecutors said in a court filing.
McAbee is not the first member of law enforcement to be charged for partaking in the Capitol riot.