California Trump Fanatic Charged With Assaulting Cop During Capitol Riot
Federal authorities have arrested Daniel Joseph Rodriguez, the 38-year-old Donald Trump fanatic who was identified as the man caught on camera assaulting a police officer during the U.S. Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6. Rodriguez was indicted on eight counts and arrested Wednesday, according to court records.
Rodriguez was part of the mob that swarmed D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Mike Fanone, who pleaded for his life and suffered a mild heart attack. Rodriguez can be seen on video jabbing a small black device into Fanone’s neck — causing the officer to drop to the ground — before breaching the Capitol and trying to smash out a window.
Fanone’s story went viral in the weeks following the insurrection. In media interviews, the father of four described being shocked with a stun gun and surrounded by rioters chanting, “Kill him with his own gun!”
A HuffPost investigation published Feb. 26 reported Rodriguez’s identity. HuffPost built off the work of the online sleuthing group Deep State Dogs and anti-fascist activists, who compiled footage of Rodriguez, a Fontana, California, resident, at the insurrection. HuffPost also interviewed witnesses who had previously encountered Rodriguez at pro-Trump rallies in Beverly Hills, as well as one of his former friends.
The FBI received tips about Rodriguez in January, including one from a man Rodriguez assaulted on video at a Los Angeles-area rally. But it wasn’t until hours after HuffPost contacted the bureau in late February with questions about Rodriguez that the tipster heard from an FBI special agent seeking information specifically about Rodriguez.
The 38-year-old is the second person to be charged directly in connection with the attack on Fanone. Thomas Sibick was arrested March 12 in Buffalo, New York, on charges including including obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, assaulting or impeding officers, and taking a thing of value by force or intimidation. Sibick confessed to the FBI that he had stolen Fanone’s police badge and later buried it in his backyard.
Like many Capitol insurrectionists, Rodriguez is a superfan of Donald Trump. His social media profiles are littered with “Make America Great Again” content, and he was a regular at pro-Trump demonstrations in Beverly Hills. In 2018, he was quoted in a local news story about the then-president’s brief visit to Los Angeles.
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