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Officer Assaulted on Jan. 6 Urges Judge to Keep Alleged Attacker in Jail: ‘No More Women Should Have to Fear Injury at His Hands’


Ryan Samsel at the US Capitol

A female Capitol Police officer who was assaulted during the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol implored a federal judge not to release the man who allegedly attacked her. The officer said “no more women should have to fear injury at his hands,” several journalists reported.

According to the reports, prosecutors read a prepared statement from the officer—referred to as “O-1” in court documents—during Friday’s detention hearing for defendant Ryan Samsel. The officer wrote that Samsel caused her “physical and psychological trauma” and submitted that she still cannot return to work because she periodically faints.

Calling Samsel a “thief” who had “stolen moments away from me that I can’t get back,” the officer wrote that the defendant “stole my ability to be present at important events due to physical and psychological trauma that you imparted on me and my co-workers,” per HuffPost Senior Justice Reporter Ryan J. Reilly.

In February charging documents, the FBI alleged that Samsel was one of the most violent members of the documented pro-Trump mob.

Prosecutors claim he “knocked over U.S. Capitol Police Officer (‘O-1’)” and caused her “head to hit the stairs behind her, resulting in a loss of consciousness.” The affidavit further alleged that Samsel then picked the “semi-conscious” officer up off the ground and said, “We don’t have to hurt you, why are you standing in our way.” That same officer blacked out twice more before the day was out: once while in the middle of arresting another rioter and again in the booking area. She was taken to the emergency room and diagnosed as having suffered a concussion.

Earlier this week, federal prosecutors who opposed Samsel’s request to be released from pretrial detention argued that he presented a danger to the community and emphasized his “extensive criminal history of assaultive and violent behavior.”

According to the DOJ memo, Samsel in 2006 was convicted for reckless endangerment and terroristic threats stemming from an incident where he tried to “run someone off the road because they owed him 60 dollars.”

“The female victim was forced to pull over, after which Samsel approached her vehicle and punched her windshield, telling her he knew where she lived and would kill her if he didn’t get his money,” the memo stated. “In 2009, Samsel was convicted of simple assault and reckless endangerment after he held a victim against her will for five hours, choking her to the point of unconsciousness, pushing her, beating her, and chipping her teeth. Then, in 2011, Samsel was convicted of simple assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, and unlawful restraint, as well as for intimidation of a witness, for choking and beating his pregnant girlfriend.”

The officer similarly invoked the documented instances of violence against women in Samsel’s past, telling the judge that “no more women should have to fear injury at his hands,” per New York Times reporter Alan Feuer.

Independent journalist Marcy Wheeler noted that prosecutors also “raised concerns about a witness who provided testimony against Samsel, because the witness would be in [the] vicinity of where Samsel [would be] released.”

Regardless of the court’s ruling, HuffPost’s Reilly reported that Samsel will remain locked up due to an outstanding warrant for a parole violation in Pennsylvania state court. Wheeler described the court’s decision as “whether he stays in jail in VA, where they’re not giving him very good medical care for assault he suffered in DC jail, or whether he goes to PA penitentiary to pay off parole violation, where he may get better care.” If he was sent to state jail in Pennsylvania, a federal hold would be placed on him to ensure he would not be released before his federal criminal case.

[image via charging documents]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.