Federal authorities announced on Wednesday that a man captured on video allegedly using a police riot shield to pin an officer in a door jam during the siege on the U.S. Capitol has been identified, arrested, and charged for his role in the January 6 breach.
Patrick Edward McCaughey III, 23, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, was arrested in South Salem, New York, on Tuesday and charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees; civil disorder; entering a restricted building or grounds, and violent entry or disorderly conduct.
Authorities say video evidence shows McCaughey committing crimes inside the Capitol Building, including a viral clip where he can be seen as part of an unruly mob that allegedly assaulted Officer Daniel Hodges of the Metropolitan Police Department.
“Officer Hodges begins to cry out in pain as MCCAUGHEY pins Officer Hodges’ body between MCCAUGHEY’s clear police riot shield and the lower west terrace door,” says an affidavit by an FBI Task Force Officer whose name was redacted.
Hodges survived the ordeal, telling WJLA News, “That was one of the three times that day where I thought: Well, this might be it.”
A witness contacted the FBI National Threat Operations Center and identified McCaughey as the person in the video with the shield after law enforcement asked for the public’s help in finding the suspect.
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) January 16, 2021
The Department of Justice provided more details on the accusations against McCaughey:
As the officer was being pinned to the door by McCaughey, a separate rioter was violently ripping off the officer’s gas mask, exposing the officer’s bloodied mouth. As McCaughey was using the riot shield to push against the officer, numerous other rioters behind and around McCaughey appeared to add to the weight against the officer.
“The vicious attack on Officer Hodges was abhorrent and quintessentially un-American,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin. “It is my pledge that anyone involved in violent attacks on law enforcement at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. McCaughey’s alleged actions were an assault on Officer Hodges, the Capitol, and the rule of law itself.”
According to the investigator’s affidavit, a YouTube video captured McCaughey telling Officer Hodges, “Just go home dude.” The document said the phrase “come on man, you are going to get squished just go home,” is audible, noting that McCaughey’s mouth was out of frame, but the tone and volume are consistent with his voice. It says at one point, McCaughey “touches Officer Hodges’ helmet and lowers Officers Hodges’ helmet’s shield” before he “taps the officer behind Officer Hodges on the shoulder and appears to state: ‘Hey you, hey you, this guy isn’t doing too well” appearing to be referencing Officer Hodges.” Authorities said he struck other uniformed officers with the shield.
The Associated Press reported:
A federal magistrate judge in New York ordered McCaughey detained without bail Wednesday afternoon, saying his actions were disturbing and he presented a threat to the community. McCaughey’s case is being transferred to Washington and he is detained pending proceedings there early next month. …
McCaughey’s public defender, Jason Ser, asked for bail to be set at $150,000, saying his client was not as “maniacal and dangerous” as federal prosecutors were portraying him. Ser said other people were pushing McCaughey, and other parts of the video show McCaughey trying to help Hodges by lowering the officer’s face shield and telling another officer that Hodges was injured.
McCaughey, who has both U.S. and German citizenship, is unemployed and lives with his mother in Ridgefield, an affluent town along the New York border, Ser said. He was arrested at his father’s second home, where he was quarantining.
McCaughey could face a minimum sentence of five years in prison if convicted, a prosecutor said.