Capitol riot suspect caught on interrogation video weeping ‘I’m a piece of s***’ after tasering officer

The defendant said he was preparing for a ‘civil war’ with leftists, but called the idea ‘stupid’ upon reflection

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 01 December 2021 22:30 GMT
Capitol riot defendant Daniel Rodriguez cries during an FBI interrogation, during which he admitted to tasing Capitol Police officer Michael Fanone.
Capitol riot defendant Daniel Rodriguez cries during an FBI interrogation, during which he admitted to tasing Capitol Police officer Michael Fanone. (screengrab)
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An interrogation video shows a Capitol riot defendant breaking down and crying as he admits to tasing Capitol Police officer Michael Fanone on 6 January.

In the video, Danny Rodriguez, weeps as he speaks with investigators about his alleged role in the 6 January attack on the Capitol.

"I'm a piece of s***, I'm sorry!" he can be heard crying.

Mr Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty to assaulting Mr Fanone, and was recently charged with a conspiracy indictment.

The video was released on Tuesday and shows FBI interrogators questioning Mr Rodriguez about why he participated in the alleged attack.

“What do you want me to tell you? That I tased him? Yes... Am I f***ing piece of s***? Yes,” Mr Rodriguez said.

Mr Fanone testified during a Congressional hearing investigating the Capitol riot. He recalled being tasted and dragged down stairs by Trump supporters who rioted and attacked police on 6 January.

"This is not how we back the blue. And I tased one of them," he said during the interrogation.

FBI agents asked him what motivated him to tase the officer.

“I don’t know... I’m a piece of s***, I’m sorry! I don’t know," Mr Rodriguez says through tears. "He’s a human being with children, and he’s not a bad guy.”

He also recalled the moment he attacked Mr Fanone, expressing shock that he had just assaulted a police officer.

"When I did it, I was like, oh, my God. What did I just do? And I got out of there. I left. I did it and I left," he said.

Later in the clip, Mr Rodriguez is asked why he participated in the riot. Mr Rodriguez blamed former President Donald Trump, saying he thought the then-commander in chief was asking for help.

“Trump called us to DC," he says. "He’s the commander in chief and the leader of our country, and he’s calling for help — I thought he was calling for help.”

He said he was preparing for a "big battle" or "civil war" with leftists, and reflected on the absurdity of what drew him to the Capitol.

"Are we all that stupid that we thought we were going to go do this and save the country and it was all going to be fine after? We really thought that. That's so stupid, huh?" he told investigators.

When asked what he would tell Mr Fanone, he dropped his head and muttered out an apology.

"I'm sorry he had to go through that. It's not right that he had to suffer like that. And it puts fear in him and worrying about his life," he said. "He was scared for his own life and thought about having to kill us. And he was willing to die because of his beliefs, too."

Investigators ask Mr Rodriguez if he thought Mr Fanone was doing the right thing.

"Yeah. He was doing his job," he said.

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