As rioters swarmed the U.S. Capitol last week, about three dozen Washington, D.C., police officers made their stand in a hallway leading into the building as a mob of thousands pushed back. Two of those officers told CBS News they didn't think they would make it out of the confrontation alive — and one recalled protesters yelling that they would "Kill him with his own gun."
Officer Mike Fanone didn't have to be at the Capitol last Wednesday. But as distress calls rang out, he and his partner self deployed to answer the call for backup. "We were going to go, I'm not going to sit that one out," Fanone said.
But Fanone said his mood changed when he got on the scene. "I was like, 'What the f*** did I get myself into?'" he recalled.
As they pushed the mob back outside, Officer Daniel Hodges found himself pinned between the door and the rioters.
"You can see the guy reaching up to grab my gas mask, sort of beating my head against the door and ripping it away," Hodges said.
"He was also able to rip away my baton and hit me in the head with it," Hodges said. "So I definitely considered that that might be it. I might not be able to make it out of there."
Fanone described the assault as a "coordinated effort."
"I mean, they were almost counting cadence as they were pushing against us," he said.
Someone grabbed Fanone and pulled him to the ground outside during the fight.
"It was brutal, just beaten, struck with a variety of different objects," Fanone recalled, adding that he was tasered "probably about a half dozen times."
Then, it got worse. "Individuals in the crowd start[ed] grabbing for my gun," he said. "And at that point, people start chanting, "Kill him with his own gun."
Fanone told CBS affiliate WUSA9 that he considered killing people — but thought that if he did, "they're going to take the gun away and kill me."
While speaking to CBS News, Fanone said he thought his best chance of survival was to "try to appeal to someone's humanity" and said he yelled to the crowd that he had children.
It worked. Some of the protesters surrounded him, allowing him to escape.
When asked what he would say to the protesters who came to his aid, Fanone replied, "Thank you. But f*** you for being there."
Fanone told WUSA9 that he spent a day and a half in the hospital, after the attack brought on a "mild" heart attack. He is now on sick leave, according to the outlet.
When asked if he would return to the Capitol on January 20, he told WUSA9, "Oh hell yeah...I went there for my brothers and sisters in law enforcement. There's no army on earth that would prevent me from fighting alongside those guys."