BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Thomas Sibick will likely spend a little more than five years in prison for beating a capitol police officer during the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol Riot and trying to hide the evidence in his Amherst residence backyard.
Dr. Gene Sibick, Thomas’s father, spoke with News 4’s Don Postles on the challenges his family has faced since his son’s arrest.
“I’m going to come out say what Thomas did was wrong,” said Sibick. “There’s no doubt about it and I’ve told him so.”
Sibick is not making any excuses for his son’s behavior during the Jan. 6 riot at Capitol Hill. His son was sentenced to prison by a federal judge and he says the judge was fair.
“First of all, I want to say that I think she’s been very fair overall in handling Thomas’s situation,” said Sibick. “Not necessarily with the sentence that was imposed, but fair throughout the year and a half, almost 2 years that we’ve been dealing with her.”
Sibick says his son went to Washington to hear former President Donald Trump speak. They’re alumni of the same military academy and wasn’t planning a protest.
“He didn’t go with anybody. Didn’t plan on meeting anybody there. He went there on his own, and unfortunately was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Sibick.
Thomas Sibick was charged with taking the badge and the radio from Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, who testified before congress that he feared for his life.
“During those moments. I remember thinking there was a very good chance I would be torn apart or shot to death with my own weapon, I thought of my four daughters who might lose their dad,” Officer Fanone said.
Officer Fanone also suffered a heart attack and brain injury.
“I was grabbed, beaten, tased, all while being called a traitor to my country,” Officer Fanone said.
But Sibick says his son was not part of that.
“If you look at the video, which is public knowledge, Thomas’s contact with Officer Fanone was less than two seconds,” said Sibick. “Officer Fanone had already incurred his injuries before Thomas had any contact with him.”
“It was chaos and, you know, a lot of people panicked,” said Sibick. “I think on both sides people panicked and we have the results that we did.”
Thomas Sibick took a plea deal rather than face a trial in D.C.
“I have no doubt that they can get a fair trial in D.C., but they can’t get an impartial jury in D.C.,” said Sibick.
Thomas Sibick will find out which federal prison he will serve time at in four to six weeks.
Don Postles is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1993. See more of his work here.