Jan. 6 officer to David Muir: 'I guarantee people are imagining this happening again'

Metropolitan Police officer Daniel Hodges has become a symbol of Jan. 6.

January 5, 2022, 4:18 PM

Metropolitan Police officer Daniel Hodges has become a symbol of the violence officers endured while protecting lawmakers and the the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

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A look at the days, events and conversations leading up to Jan. 6, 2021, from the eyes of anti-government groups, extremism experts and several ABC News correspondents who were at the Capitol that day.

Hodges had responded to the building as Capitol Police units were overrun, and ended up pinned down by the crowd, between a door and a crush of rioters intent on getting through police lines and into the building. One of those rioters, attacking him -- as Hodges screamed, trying to set himself free. Video of that attack now seen around the world.

Watch more TONIGHT on “World News Tonight” at 6:30 p.m. ET

PHOTO: World News Tonight's David Muir sits down with three Capitol Officer who fought during the riots on Jan. 6, 2021.
World News Tonight's David Muir sits down with three Capitol Officer who fought during the riots on Jan. 6, 2021.
ABC

"I remember just the intensity of his guttural screams and I swear I remember him foaming at the mouth and just grabbing at my mask and ... ripping it off my head, straining my neck, ripping away my baton, beating me in the head with it," Hodges told "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir. "It crossed my mind at the time that, you know, this might be it."

Muir sat down with Hodges and Capitol Police officers Harry Dunn and Aquilino Gonell -- all of whom were at the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year. It was the first time the three officers sat down together for an interview since they, and former Capitol Police officer Michael Fanone, detailed the horrors they endured on Jan. 6 during a congressional hearing six months after the attacks.

PHOTO: Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges has become a symbol of the violence officers endured while protecting the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges has become a symbol of the violence officers endured while protecting the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
ABC

"The absolute zealotry of these people was unreal. They -- they were completely convinced that -- without any evidence whatsoever ever, that the election was stolen and that they were doing the right thing," Hodges told Muir.

For Hodges, the lack of accountability so far for people in power he says are responsible for the attack is both frustrating and troubling.

On Jan. 6, ABC News Live will provide all-day coverage of events marking one year since the attack on the U.S. Capitol and the continuing fallout for American democracy.

"It's frustrating that we're a year on and no one higher up at all has been charged with anything save, you know, contempt for not responding to a subpoena," Hodges told Muir. "I'm very sensitive to telling other professionals how to do their job. You know, I'm not a fed, I'm not a lawyer, I'm not a prosecutor ... I just have to hope that they're doing everything they can to see that the-- the people in power get what they deserve."

PHOTO: A man calls on people to raid the building as supporters of President Donald Trump clash with police and security forces as they storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 6, 2021.
A man calls on people to raid the building as supporters of President Donald Trump clash with police and security forces as they storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 6, 2021.
Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

Hodges, who remains an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department, warns -- if there are no consequences -- a new attack is imminent.

"You've got to deal with this harshly and quickly in order to squash any thoughts of this happening again, which I guarantee you, people are imagining this happening again," he told Muir.

"Right now?" Muir asked.

"Right now," he warned.

ABC News' Rachel Scott, Ely Brown and Trish Turner contributed to this report.

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