The defendant said he was originally conflicted about participating in the “Stop the Steel” rally and found the speeches ineffective, adding that he went in front of the US Capitol, seeing people running away with injuries, told the jury. that he was “programmed”. To help in those cases.
According to Webster, he only encountered the officer, Noah Rathbun, when Rathbun taunted and punched him in the head for coming across the fence line for a fight. The hit, Webster said, “was like hitting with a hammer,” adding that he started looking up at the stars and was terrified.
Webster’s statement of the incident was in almost complete contradiction to Officer Rathbun’s Wednesday testimony. According to Rathbun, it was Webster who taunted him for fighting, yelling for the officer to “take my shit out,” Rathbun testified. The officer also says he never punched Webster and only “contacted with his face” when Webster continued to push against the metal fence separating the rioters and the police.
After contact, Webster says that he hoisted his flag over the metal fence to ward off Rathbun. “I was looking up at the stars,” testified Webster.
According to Webster, Rathbun then tore apart the fence. “He’s coming after me,” Webster testified thinkingly at the time, “I’m afraid. He’s gone rogue.”
He then ran into Rathbun and the officer “kind of fell,” Webster said, adding that he “grabbed the filter” of Rathbun’s gas mask and simply pushed up.
“I wanted him to see my hands,” testified Webster. “It was scary… he was fighting back.”
It was here that Rathbun testified that he “was not able to breathe” because Webster was pulling his chin strap across his neck.
“He knocked me down… grabbed my helmet and started pulling me,” Rathbun said on Wednesday.
Webster will continue his testimony on Friday morning, presided over by Judge Amit Mehta.