The Slatest

Officer Almost Crushed by Capitol Mob: “If it Wasn’t My Job I Would Have Done That for Free”

Trump supporters face off with police and security forces in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC on January 6, 2021.
Trump supporters face off with police and security forces in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/Getty Images

A Washington, D.C. police officer who was almost crushed to death by the insurrectionist mob that swarmed the Capitol earlier this month would do it all over again if he had the opportunity. “If it wasn’t my job I would have done that for free,” Daniel Hodges, 32, said. “It was absolutely my pleasure to crush a white nationalist insurrection and I’m glad I was in a position to help. We’ll do it as many times as it takes.” Video that went viral shows rioters pinning Hodges between a sliding door and the doorframe. In the video, Hodges can be seen crying out in pain with his mouth bloodied as the rioters around him seem determined to cause him some serious harm.

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Hodges may have no regrets but he describes a frightening scene in which he was attacked relentlessly. “There’s a guy ripping my mask off, he was able to rip away the baton and beat me with it,” said Hodges. “He was practically foaming at the mouth so just, these people were true believers in the worst way.”

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The level of violence surprised Hodges, as did the way in which some insurrectionists thought that police would be on their side. “Some of them felt like we would be fast friends because so many of them have been vocal,” Hodges said. “They say things like, ‘Yeah, we’ve been supporting you through all this Black Lives Matter stuff, you should have our back’ and they felt entitled.” Hodges said he thought the insurrectionists “felt like they would just walk up there and tell us that they’re here to take back Congress and we would agree with them and we’d walk in hand in hand and just take over the nation.”

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Officers eventually arrived to help extricate Hodges from the violence and he surprisingly didn’t suffer any major injuries although he may have had a minor concussion and suffered a headache for a week. Other officers have also shared distressing accounts that put into evidence just how violent the insurrectionist mob at the Capitol was that day. Mike Fanone, for example, said he was knocked to the ground and rioters ended up grabbing all his gear, including his badge. The officer who has been in law enforcement for nearly two decades was then Tasered multiple times and then heard something that for a moment he thought would be the last thing he would hear. “Guys were trying to grab my gun and they were chanting, ‘Kill him with his own gun,’” Fanone said, adding he had suffered a “mild heart attack” as a result of his injuries. Left with no options, Fanone yelled out that he had kids, “And it seemed to work.” A few rioters protected him until help arrived.

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