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Injured Capitol police officer urges judge to keep man in custody

“You have stolen moments from me that I can’t get back. You stole my ability to be with my fellow officers,” her letter says to man accused in Jan. 6 riot.
Image: US Capitol police riot clash
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.John Minchillo / AP file

WASHINGTON — A police officer who was seriously injured during the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol urged a federal judge Friday to deny release for one of the men accused of attacking her.

“You purposely knocked me down,” she said, in a statement read in court by a federal prosecutor and addressed to the defendant, Ryan Samsel of Pennsylvania.

She said her injuries have prevented her from returning to duty. “You have stolen moments from me that I can’t get back. You stole my ability to be with my fellow officers” while they paid tribute to Officer Brian Sicknick, who died the day after the Capitol siege.

“Now you’re asking to be set free. When will we be set free? When will we be set free of the memories and scars of that day?”

Prosecutors accuse Samsel of being among the rioters who used a metal barricade to push the officer, whose name has not been released, causing her to fall back and hit her head on the marble steps behind her. She collapsed later in the day and was treated for a concussion.

An attorney for the government told the judge at Friday’s hearing that the officer has not returned to work full time and faints at random times.

Samsel has not yet entered a plea in the case.

Also Friday the Justice Department said prosecutors now expect to charge at least 550 people in the Capitol riot, revising their earlier estimate that 500 might be the limit.

“Over 450 individuals have been charged. The investigation continues and the government expects at least one hundred additional individuals will be charged,” they said in seeking additional time before taking a separate case to trial.

A total of 464 people have been charged in federal court in connection with the riot, with 26 charges in Washington, D.C., Superior Court, for a total of 490, according to an NBC News tally of court cases.

The FBI said Friday that 465 people have been arrested. That number is lower, because some of those charged haven’t yet been arrested. More than 130 of those charged have been accused of assaulting or interfering with police officers. Of those, 40 are accused of using dangerous weapons.

It’s been estimated that at least 800 rioters were in the Capitol on the day of the rampage.