Ex-NYPD cop 'Eye Gouger' Thomas Webster gets TEN YEARS in federal prison for assaulting Capitol police officer

Thomas Webster receives longest sentence in Capitol riot case so far after prosecutor tells the court that as an ex-cop he 'should have known better'

Ex-NYPD cop 'Eye Gouger' Thomas Webster gets TEN YEARS in federal prison for assaulting Capitol police officer
Thomas Webster AKA The Eye Goucher sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for assaulting a police officer (Photo credit DOJ) (Photo credit FBI)
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WASHINGTON DC: Thomas Webster AKA ‘The Eye Gouger’ has been sentenced to ten years in prison by US District Judge Amit Mehta for assaulting a police officer during the Capitol riots in 2021. Of about 250 people who have been punished for misconduct during the event, Webster, 56, has come out with the longest and harshest sentence of the lot so far.

Federal prosecutors recommended imprisonment of seventeen and half years to the court but Mehta declared that Webster should be sentenced to ten years in federal prison. Webster, a former NYPD cop, presented a self-defense argument in court that was dismissed by the judge and jurors after looking at the video footage of the incident. Judge Amit Mehta argued that Webster was the ‘first aggressor' amongst the crowd who breached the police line and charged toward the Capitol police officer, Noah Rathbun, with a metal pole that had a Marine corps flag on it. In the video, it can be seen that Webster tries to choke Rathbun by pulling his gas mask strap and jabbing the eye while the officer is on the floor, hence the name 'eye gouger'. "Nothing can explain or justify Mr. Webster's rage. Webster is one of the rioters who should have known better,” assistant US attorney Hava Arin Levensen Mirell added. 

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Who is Thomas Webster?

Webster is a former NYPD police officer and a Marine soldier, retired and honorably discharged from service. His defense attorney, James Monroe argued that Webster was swept up in the fervor of the large crowd and was misguided through relentless misinformation. He continued that the mass mob was guided by unscrupulous politicians. "These forces championed by former President Donald Trump exerted an extraordinary amount of influence over those Americans present at the Capitol on Jan. 6 through their relentless disinformation," Monroe’s statement read.

During the trial, Webster complained that Rathbun instigated him by punching him in the face but the accused was quick to defend himself by saying he used no means of force against Webster until 'The Eye Goucher' started landing blows. It was quite evident in the video footage retrieved from Rathbun’s body camera that Webster was at fault for breaching the security perimeter and unleashing himself in a violent manner. 

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Monroe was hoping to reduce the sentence for his defendant by putting forth an argument that Webster was suffering from severe post-traumatic stress syndrome from his time as an NYPD police officer. But assistant US attorney Mirell informed the judge that Webster’s service for the force made the act even more heinous as “no one knows better than a former cop how dangerous it was that day,” she pointed out.

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