An alleged Capitol insurrectionist’s unsuccessful plans to escape to Switzerland to avoid extradition led to time in custody.
In court documents obtained by CNN, prosecutors said Jeffrey Sabol briefly returned to his Colorado home after allegedly breaching the Capitol and assaulting two police officers, before traveling to Boston on Jan. 9 with the intention of flying out to Switzerland.
Sabol allegedly told law enforcement that he tried to make his trip “look natural” with his plans to go skiing at his destination. Sabol, however, retreated from his plans of a Swiss getaway upon seeing officers at the airport in Boston, becoming worried that law enforcement was searching for him. Sabol then ditched his plans, rented a car and began driving south. Sabol threw his phone out the window while driving because he assumed that officers were following him.
Police in New City, New York pulled Sabol over on Jan. 11 for “driving erratically,” the documents said. They allegedly found Sabol covered in blood with “severe lacerations on his thighs and arms,” and claimed that he tried to commit suicide.
Sabol allegedly issued numerous disordered remarks such as: “I am tired, I am done fighting”; “My wounds are self-inflicted”; “I was fighting tyranny in the D.C. Capitol”; and “I am wanted by the FBI.”
Police said they then uncovered razor blades, electronic devices, his passport, Social Security card, airplane tickets, and a green backpack and tan jacket that allegedly matched video footage from the Capitol riot in Sabol’s car.
A day after Sabol was taken to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, he allegedly admitted to officers that he had taken part in the deadly Capitol insurrection, where, according to prosecutors, he jumped over barricades and dragged an officer down the steps. According to prosecutors, Sabol tried to downplay his actions by claiming that he was helping one of the officers, who he patted on the back and told “we got you man.”
Court documents said that Sabol also told police that he deleted text messages and a video of himself on the day of the Capitol attack.
Sabol believed in then-President Trump’s baseless claims of a “stolen” 2020 presidential election, according to court documents.
Sabol told investigators that he arrived at the Capitol on Jan. 6 armed with a helmet, steel-toe boots, an earpiece and zip ties. When he heard flash bangs going off, Sabol said that he “recognized that a ‘battle’ was already occurring,” and that he believed that antifa was behind the commotion. Sabol viewed the moment as a “call to battle” that he had a duty to respond to as a “patriot warrior.”
Cellphone records and video footage allegedly show Sabol at the Capitol steps on Jan. 8 appearing to assault two officers. The indictment alleges that Sabol wrested a baton from a D.C. police officer who had been knocked down by another rioter. The officer was , according to prosecutors, later dragged into the pro-Trump mob that ripped off his helmet and gas mask, stole his cellphone, maced him, kicked him, struck him with poles and stomped on him.
Video footage of Sabol’s alleged assault of a second officer show Sabol with his left hand on the officers back and his right hand holding the stolen baton against the officer’s neck. Sabol allegedly assisted in dragging the officer “face-first down the steps and into the mob.”
Sabol was charged with civil disorder on Jan. 15 and arrested on Jan. 22 in New York, where a magistrate judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered him detained pending trial, citing him as a danger and flight risk. Sabol was hit with more charges on Jan. 29 after a federal grand jury indictment.
His lawyers filed the motion for pretrial release on Feb. 23. In court documents, they argued that Sabol’s violent actions “appears to have arisen in the context of a hysterical throng,” and that his belief that the election was stolen was “misguided” and “wrong.” They said that Sabol was lied to and was swept up by “things that were said to the crowd of people by people like Roger Stone and Rudy [Giuliani] and the President himself.”
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan recently denied Sabol’s request for pretrial release in light of his participation in the Capitol attack and his alleged plan to flee the country.
“Mr. Sabol’s willingness to act violently during what he perceived to be a ‘battle’ and a fight against tyranny is extremely troubling,” Sullivan wrote in a 64-page ruling April 8. “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.”
Sabol is facing charges along with 400 more people accused of being part of the violent pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol on the day of the joint session of Congress ratifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory.