A man charged with beating a police officer at the Capitol riot has been forced to stay in jail before his trial because he tried to flee to Switzerland, judge says

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A man charged with beating a police officer at the Capitol riot has been forced to stay in jail before his trial because he tried to flee to Switzerland, judge says
Rioters clash with police officers at the Capitol insurrection.Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Jeffrey Sabol, 51, is charged with beating a police officer at the Capitol riot.
  • Sabol has been detained since January. Earlier this month a judge denied him pretrial release.
  • The judge said Sabol was a flight risk and had tried fleeing to Switzerland days after the riot.

A man charged with assaulting a police officer at the Capitol riot has been denied pretrial release because he had tried to flee to Switzerland, a Washington, DC, judge has ruled.

In the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection, Jeffrey Sabol, 51, drove to Boston from his Colorado home with a plan to fly to Switzerland, District Judge Emmet Sullivan said in an April 7 ruling published by CNN.

In interviews with law-enforcement officers, Sabol, a geophysicist, said "he planned to ski while in Switzerland to make his trip 'look natural,'" Sullivan wrote. The judge said Sabol abandoned his plan, however, after spotting police officers at the airport.

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Last week, Sullivan denied a request from Sabol for pretrial release. Sabol has been in jail since his January 27 arrest, CNN reported, and has yet to enter a plea.

Sullivan wrote in the ruling: "If released, Mr. Sabol may again try to flee or otherwise attempt to prevent his prosecution from moving forward."

A man charged with beating a police officer at the Capitol riot has been forced to stay in jail before his trial because he tried to flee to Switzerland, judge says
A ski resort in Switzerland.Tim Graham/Getty Images

Sabol has been given numerous charges, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon on January 6, according to a Justice Department indictment.

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Prosecutors have accused Sabol of taking a baton from a vulnerable Metropolitan Police Department officer, and Sullivan wrote that he "subsequently wielded it while helping drag another officer into the violent mob where he sustained prolonged beatings."

Sabol was then seen placing the baton on the back of the immobile officer's head, Sullivan said.

Sabol first alerted the police on January 11 that he had been at the January 6 riot, after he was pulled over for driving erratically in New City, New York, Sullivan said.

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In the car, officers found Sabol "covered in blood from severe lacerations on his thighs and arms," the court ruling said.

Sabol told officers he had attempted to kill himself, and said he was part of the Capitol riot while being questioned, the judge said.

A man charged with beating a police officer at the Capitol riot has been forced to stay in jail before his trial because he tried to flee to Switzerland, judge says
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021.Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty

After returning from Washington, DC, to Colorado on January 7, Sabol destroyed his electronic devices by putting them in a microwave, Sullivan wrote, and hid two guns at the house of an associate.

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"Mr. Sabol's willingness to act violently during what he perceived to be a 'battle' and a fight against tyranny is extremely troubling," Sullivan said in the ruling.

"That he acted violently against law enforcement protecting the peaceful transition of power based on a belief that the 2020 Presidential Election was stolen is also very alarming."

As of Tuesday, 414 people had been charged with participating in the January 6 riot.

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