Attorneys for Thomas Sibick, who participated in the January 6 insurrection, asked a federal judge to relieve him from a 24-hour lockdown at his parents' home so he can use dating apps and "interact with members of the opposite gender for the purpose of establishing a friendship.”
Sibick, who was initially held in jail without bond, was released to the custody of his mother and father by U.S. District Judge Amy B. Jackson over concerns the “toxic” conditions in the Washington, D.C. lockup would further radicalize him.
The news was first reported by Washington D.C. local news outlet WUSA9, which detailed Sibick's request in the video below.
As part of her order, Jackson forbade Sibick from using social media and from watching political television programming that could “inflame his thoughts," telling his parents, who have previously described their son as a "political prisoner," she is counting on them to maintain a "calm" environment.
Over the weekend, Sibick's attorney Stephen Brennwald asked Jackson to modify the terms of Sibick's release, asking he be allowed to use a limited number of websites to allow him to seek employment as well as “interact with members of the opposite gender for the purpose of establishing a friendship.”
In the official court filing, Brennwald insisted Sibick is "not seeking to use any social media application for any prohibited purpose."
“He is not seeking to use any social media application for any prohibited purpose, such as for political engagement, news reading, or any other activity that would violate not only the letter, but the spirit, of his release conditions."
“He is very grateful to this Court for the chance it took when it released him, and he has no intention of remotely coming close to any line that delineates his activity while on release.”
In a footnote, Brennwald says Sibick feels "the need to establish some sort of connection with someone (if possible, in light of his situation)" because the current terms would only permit him to work remotely and not "leave his home for the purpose of going to dinner” or other events.
Sibick faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding, the most serious of the charges against him. Federal authorities have also charged him with robbery, civil disorder, assaulting police and committing an act of physical violence on Capitol grounds.
His face became known nationwide for his involvement in the attack on D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone, who suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was beaten with a flagpole.
Sibick robbed Fanone of his badge and radio while others tased Fanone and threatened to beat him with his own gun. Fanone's badge and radio were recovered from the spot where Sibick buried them after returning to Buffalo, New York from D.C..
His request has received jeers and criticism on social media.
Fanone has described the attack, which took place when a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the United States Capitol on the false premise the 2020 general election had been stolen, as "the most brutal, savage, hand-to-hand combat of my entire life," adding he "experienced a group of individuals that were trying to kill me to accomplish their goal."
Fanone, who has repeatedly expressed his anger with elected officials who have backed former President Trump's falsehoods about the integrity of the electoral process, has been firm that insurrectionists "came to the Capitol hell-bent on violence and destruction and murder."
Sibick isn't the only insurrectionist to be criticized for what many perceive as entitled behavior.
Earlier this month, Jenna Ryan, a Frisco, Texas real estate agent who flew to D.C. on a private jet to attend the Stop the Steal rally on January 6, attracted widespread mockery for vowing to devote her prison time to losing weight by doing yoga and drinking protein shakes.