Colorado geophysicist accused of beating cop at Capitol riot booked flight to Switzerland then attempted suicide: prosecutors

Stephen Rex Brown, New York Daily News
·2 min read

A Colorado geophysicist who allegedly beat up a cop during the Capitol riot booked a plane ticket to Switzerland and then attempted suicide — a move that a prosecutor dubbed “the ultimate flight attempt.”

Jeffrey Sabol, 51, admitted to authorities that he assaulted an officer on the Capitol building steps in “a fit of rage,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Gianforte said during a Friday hearing in White Plains Federal Court.

Video shows Sabol, sporting a tan Carhart jacket and helmet, dragging the officer down the stairs as another protester clobbers the officer with an American flag. Sabol was also caught on video holding a police baton across a cop’s neck, the prosecutor said.

Magistrate Judge Andrew Krause ordered the father of three be locked up without bail. “The conduct is beyond the pale ... I find it shocking,” Krause said.

“While I do recognize Mr. Sabol has many things going for him in life, none of that stopped him from engaging in the conduct described in the complaint and captured on video. I cannot say with any confidence or certainty similar actions won’t occur in the future,” the judge said.

Sabol later booked a flight from Boston to Zurich, Switzerland, according to Gianforte.

“What is one of the many things Switzerland is known for? One of them is being a non-extradition country,” Gianforte told the judge. “He thinks he won’t get shipped back home to face the music.”

At some point while on the lam, Sabol attempted suicide. He was held in a psychiatric center for several days and arrested Friday morning at Westchester Medical Center. His presence in New York was not explained during the hearing.

“I’m sorry frankly for what Mr. Sabol has been through ... But his suicide attempt can be taken as consciousness of guilt,” Gianforte said.

The judge said the suicide attempt did not factor in his decision to deny Sabol bail.

Sabol, a father of three, was born in Utica, N.Y. and had a successful career his whole life, Federal Defender Jason Ser said.

He specializes in sophisticated environmental cleanups of Superfund sites and removal of unexploded ordinances at federal testing grounds.

“His employment history is quite frankly second to none,” Ser said.

More than 130 people have been charged across the county in connection with the Jan. 6 siege.

That list includes many New York City locals, including a QAnon-supporting Department of Sanitation worker who was arrested Thursday night at his Sheepshead Bay home.