DC Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges said he was beaten with his own gas mask on Jan. 6.
At one point, with his arms pinned and trapped between a shield and door frame, Hodges said a rioter bashed his head with a huge mob behind him.
“Directly in front of me, a man seized the opportunity of my vulnerability to grab the front of my gas mask and used it beat my head against the door,” he said while testifying about the Capitol riot before the House select committee.
“He never uttered any words I recognized but opted instead for guttural screams. I remember him foaming at the mouth. He also put his cell phone in the mouth so that he had both hands free to assault me,” Hodges said.
Hodges said he screamed for help and an officer was able to assist him out of the mob.
The officer repeatedly called the rioters “terrorists” during his testimony.
Earlier in the day on Jan. 6, Hodges said rioters called the officers traitors and mocked their numbers.
“As we came close to the terrorists, our line was divided and we came under attack. A man attempted to rip the baton from my hands. … He yelled at me ‘You’re on the wrong team,'” Hodges said.
“One of the terrorists who had scaled the scaffolding that adorned the Capitol at the time threw something heavy down at me and struck me in the head, disorienting me. I suspect this resulted in the likely concussion I dealt with in the weeks after,” he said.
There were also many flags in the crowd, he said, including American, pro-Trump and religious flags.
“To my perpetual confusion, I saw the thin blue line flag, the symbol of support for law enforcement more than once being carried by the terrorists as they ignored our commands and continued to assault us,” he added.
Hodges described the fight as a “chaotic melee” with chemical sprays hanging thick in the air.
“One latched on to my face and got his thumb in my right eye, attempting to gouge it out. I cried out in pain, managed to shake him off. Managed to shake him off before any permanent damage was done,” he said.
Hodges called the frontline a “meat grinder.”
“The terrorists had a wall of shields that they had stolen from officers as well as stolen batons and whatever other armaments they brought. Even during this contest of wills, they tried to convert us to their cult,” Hodges said.