US Capitol riots: Police officer begged for life as mob screamed for his death

A police officer has recounted how he pleaded for his life as the Capitol mob attacked him and screamed for his death by telling the rioters he had children.

DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone had just been Tasered several times and was now lying on the ground, stunned and injured.

Then the rioters attacked him, ripping away his police radio and spare ammunition.

"Then some guy started getting ahold of my gun, and they were screaming out: 'Kill him with his own gun!' At that point, you know, it was just like, self-preservation. How do I survive this situation?" he told CNN.

"I just remember yelling out that I have kids. And it seemed to work. Some people in the crowd started to encircle me and try to offer me some level of protection.

"That provided me with enough time for other officers - specifically my partner Jimmy Albright - enough time to get to me and get me the hell out of there."

Fanone had some harsh words for the rioters, including those who helped him.

"A lot of people have asked me my thoughts on the individuals in the crowd that helped me or tried to offer some assistance, and I think kind of the conclusion I've come to is like, you know: 'Thank you, but f**k you for being there,'" he told CNN.

Another member of the Metropolitan Police Department, Officer Christina Laury, says she saw officers being assaulted by the wild mob.

"They were getting hit with metal objects. Metal poles. I remember seeing pitchforks. They're getting sprayed, knocked down," she told CNN.

"The individuals were pushing officers, hitting officers. They were spraying us with what we were calling, essentially, bear mace, because you use it on bears."

Michael Sherwin, acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia, says his office has brought 98 criminal prosecutions so far and has opened investigations into more than 275 people in connection with the Capitol riots.

The people charged include a retired firefighter who hurled a fire extinguisher at police, a man accused of attacking police with a flag pole and another suspect who was caught with explosives and firearms in his truck near the Capitol building.

The FBI is also looking for suspects in connection with the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.

Steven D'Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington Field Office, urged suspects to turn themselves in.

"To those of you who took part in the violence, here's something you should know: Every FBI field office in the country is looking for you," he said. "As a matter of fact, even your friends and family are tipping us off."

Reuters / Newshub.