Former Tennessee deputy charged with assaulting police officers during Capitol riots

Ronald McAbee was arrested Tuesday after the FBI received a tip concerning his exposed identity on police body cam footage during the Capitol riots.

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Image Credit: fbi.gov

Accused of attempting to strike a Metropolitan police officer and drag another cop into the mob storming the U.S. Capitol building, a former Tennessee sheriff’s deputy was recently charged with assaulting officers, inflicting bodily injury, and entering restricted grounds with a weapon.

On January 6, Williamson County sheriff’s deputy Ronald McAbee was recorded on video storming the Capitol while wearing a red MAGA hat and black tactical vest with a sheriff patch. According to police body cam footage, Deputy McAbee and several other rioters dragged a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer to the ground while repeatedly striking him in the head and body.

When another MPD officer attempted to help his fallen colleague, McAbee allegedly attempted to strike the second officer. McAbee was arrested Tuesday after the FBI received a tip concerning his exposed identity on police body cam footage during the Capitol riots.

McAbee has been named along with six other co-defendants, including Jack Whitton, who allegedly attacked an MPD officer with a crutch, and Jeffrey Sobol, who allegedly choked an officer with a baton. The former deputy was charged with Assaulting, Resisting or Impeding Certain Officers Inflicting Bodily Injury and Aiding and Abetting; Assaulting Resisting or Impeding Certain Officers; Entering and Remaining in a Restricted Building or Grounds with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon; and Disorderly and Disruptive Conduct in a Restricted Building or Grounds with a Deadly or Dangerous Weapon.

Employed as a detention deputy with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office since November 9, 2020, McAbee was on leave at the time of the Capitol riots due to a shoulder and hip injury from a car accident on December 27, 2020. According to court records, McAbee ceased working at the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office on March 23, 2021. Prior to moving to Tennessee, he was employed as a sheriff’s deputy at the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia.

In the seven months since January 6, more than 570 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 170 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.

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