Buffalo man accused of burying officer’s badge after Capitol riot barred from watching political news during conditional release

Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo man accused of participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has been granted home incarceration with conditions while he awaits trial.

Thomas F. Sibick was released into the custody of his father Tuesday by a U.S. District Court in Washington D.C.

Conditions of his release include not having access to internet-capable devices, not watching any political news programs, and not using any social media. He is also required to obtain mental health treatment, not possess a gun or other weapon, submit to location monitoring technology, surrender his passport and not obtain travel documents.

Sibick may attend religious services with his parents once per week. He is allowed on the porch or patio of his residence.

Prosecutors say that while Sibick was at the Capitol, he assaulted Metropolitan police officer Michael Fanone — a man who authorities say was both beaten and attacked with a stun gun during the riot.

MORE | How Congress is investigating the January 6 Capitol riot

Documents say Fanone lost consciousness and was hospitalized. In an interview with CBS News, Fanone said a stun gun was used against him “probably about a half dozen times.”

According to Fanone, in the same interview, people in the crowd began chanting “Kill him with his own gun.”

But according to officials, Sibick was not accused of beating or using a stun gun against Fanone. Instead, Sibick was charged with ripping off Fanone’s badge and radio from his uniform.

Prosecutors say he later went on the bury the badge in his backyard.

MORE | Capitol rioter from Buffalo who allegedly buried officer’s badge indicted on 10 charges

Thirteen letters were submitted on behalf of Sibick to vouch for his character prior to his conditional release.

Sibick also wrote a page and a half handwritten letter to Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson, reflecting on his experience.

He writes “The shame, dishonor, and regret endured are without question the worst emotions ever experienced.”

Legal expert Barry Covert says the letter most likely carried some weight with the judge.

“I think the court was probably swayed by that letter, more than the other letters of support by the other individuals or even the letters of the detention facility he was at,” said Covert.

Sibick has been indicted on the following charges:

  • obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting
  • civil disorder
  • assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers
  • entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds
  • disorderly and disruptive conduct on restricted building or grounds
  • impeding ingress and egress in a restricted building or grounds
  • engaging in physical violence on restricted building or grounds
  • impeding passage through the Capitol grounds or buildings
  • acts of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings
  • robbery

Sibbick’s next court appearance is a video conference for a status hearing before Judge Amy Berman Jackson at 2 p.m. on Nov. 29.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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