Capitol cop tears into ‘pathetic’ Mike Pence for saying January 6 ‘doesn’t mean anything’ after doing ‘everything we could to stop him from being hanged in front of his daughter’
- Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell was badly injured in the Jan 6 riot
- In an NPR interview he took aim at lawmakers who played down the violence
- And he condemned comments by Mike Pence that he said minimized the impact
- ‘That one day in January almost cost my life,’ he said
- Gonell shared photos of his injuries to Twitter to illustrate his point
Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell condemned former Vice President Mike Pence for comments he said minimized the January 6 violence as just ‘one tragic day,’ saying the events of that day almost cost him his life.
In an interview broadcast on Thursday, Gonell slammed Pence as ‘pathetic’ and ‘a disgrace.’
The police officer helped defend the US Capitol last year when a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump tried to disrupt a joint session of Congress as it met to certify the result of the presidential election.
‘The former vice president said that people in the media want to focus on that one day, and I quote: “That one day in January.” Well, that one day in January almost cost my life,’ Gonell told NPR in an interview.
He also took to Twitter to make his point, sharing images of the injuries he suffered.
Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell took aim at former Vice President Mike Pence for his description of the attack on the U.S. Capitol was ‘one tragic day in January’
Gonell shared images of the injuries he suffered on Jan 6, a day he thought he was going to die as he tried to defend Congress from a rioting mob
Gonell was on duty when Trump supporters marched from a rally to the U.S. Capitol
Members of the mob chanted that they wanted to ‘Hany Mike Pence,’ infuriated by his position that he he did not have the authority to overturn President Trump’s election defeat
‘This happened to me giving him and others time to escape to safely so he wouldn’t get hanged/executed,’ he wrote in response to Pence.
‘To some, my efforts and injuries are just an exaggeration. THEY did this to me.
‘This why it matters to me and should matters to you.’
Nearly a year on, he is unable to raise his left arm because of injuries he suffered during the attack.
The veteran of the Iraq war returned to work after 10 months of treatment and even then only in an administrative role. He is also receiving therapy for the trauma sustained during the insurrection.
That made it difficult to encounter Republicans who had voted not to certify President Biden’s win, he said, and made Pence’s comments difficult to hear.
Although the former vice president has praised officers for defending Congress against rioters, Gonell said he was offended by recent comments he believed minimized the impact of the day.
‘I’m not going to allow the Democrats or the national media to use one tragic day in January to demean the intentions of 74 million people who stood with us in our cause,’ Pence told the Christian Broadcasting Network.
‘And I’m not going to allow the Democrats to use one tragic day in January to distract attention from their failed agenda and the failed policies of the Biden Administration.’
Gonell said: ‘We did everything possible to prevent him from being hanged and killed in front of his daughter and his wife. And now he’s telling us that that one day in January doesn’t mean anything.
‘It’s pathetic. It’s a disgrace.
‘He swore an oath to the country, not to Donald Trump.’
Gonell said he thought he was going to die as the mob raged through the Capitol, dragging him by the leg.
‘I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, “This is how I’m going to die, trampled defending this entrance,”‘ he said in testimony before a House Select Committee investigating the riot.
Speaking to NPR, he described his anger at lawmakers who now play down the violence.
‘We risked our lives to give them enough time to get to safety. And allegedly, some of them were in communication with some of the rioters and with some of the coordinators or in the know of what would happen,’ he said.
‘And it makes you question their motives and their loyalty for the country, as we were battling the mob in a brutal battle where I could have lost my life and my dear fellow officers, as well.”