J6 Protester Who Helped Police Faces Jail Time

William Sarsfield III
William Sarsfield III | Image by U.S. Department of Justice

The Department of Justice is threatening up to five years of prison and a $250,000 fine for a January 6 protester who never entered the Capitol building and who helped a Capitol police officer to safety.

William Sarsfield III of Gun Barrel City is facing trial in May for his alleged actions in the Lower West Terrace and tunnel areas of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The FBI’s statement of facts in the case alleges Sarsfield engaged in a coordinated pushing in the tunnel as he passed along a riot shield and yelled “heave ho” — details supported by Capitol videos that showed him at the back of the crowded tunnel.

“As SARSFIELD and the rioters thrusted their collective body weight into the officers, one officer could be heard screaming in agonizing pain as he was smashed between a shield and a metal door frame,” the statement of facts in the case reads.

Capitol officers eventually succeeded in removing the crowd from the tunnel. Sarsfield can then be seen rushing down the stairs to aid two Capitol police officers. Video outside the Capitol shows him helping break up a skirmish between an officer and several protesters. He then escorts another injured officer away from the scene.

In a series of interviews with The Dallas Express, Sarsfield said he escorted this officer, Morris Moore, to a nearby ambulance with one other protester, who can be seen in the video. He provided a selfie he took with the officer to back this point.


This account was also backed by two FBI interview documents shared by Sarsfield. Moore spoke to FBI agents in a December 2021 interview.

“Officer Moore stated that … two unknown individuals pulled him from the crowd and walked him towards Constitution Avenue, NW, away from the crowd,” the FBI report reads. “… Sarsfield helped the officer to his feet, and asked if he could escort the man to a ‘safe space,’ or to a group of officers. Sarsfield eventually escorted the African American officer to an area where Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was staged, and Sarsfield took a picture with the officer.”

However, the aid he rendered to the officers was not mentioned in the DOJ’s statement of facts.

The FBI declined to comment on why the encounter was not considered in their case and did not confirm the authenticity of the interview documents shared with DX, which are not public.

Moore could not be reached for comment.

“I couldn’t believe the sight of the officer’s pure fear — it was humbling,” Sarsfield told DX. “Even though I didn’t fear, they did, and that is what made me want to help get them to safety.”

Sarsfield said he attended the Trump rally earlier in the day on January 6, 2021, with his wife and went to heat up in his car afterward. They traveled to Washington, D.C., using their stimulus checks for one last trip before Mrs. Sarsfield went on dialysis. He began to read about the ensuing protest at the Capitol while in his car and said he decided to walk over to try to help those in need.

“The tunnel was why I was there,” he told DX. “The screams from people on both sides were horrible, and as the violence escalated at the doors, their shields were taken and passed around.”

Video footage shows Sarsfield remained towards the back of the tunnel as he waved others attempting to enter in front of him. He later joined the crowd in pushing toward the officers and left as the police eventually won the battle.

“There were times being tall had its disadvantages,” he continued. “As people walked past me on a steep set of stairs, I was moving out of the way of people asking to come in. I saw the pepper spray being deployed and a call for shields for protection and they were coming in from many directions and other objects as well.”

Sarsfield left the Capitol area after escorting Morris to the ambulance.

The FBI appeared at Sarsfield’s house in June 2022, when he agreed to give an interview and confirmed he was at the Capitol that day. Sarsfield said he next heard from the FBI six months later to schedule a second interview. However, agents instead appeared at his house for a surprise arrest.

“They subsequently came Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, and arrested me — handcuffing me in the middle of my street,” he told DX. “I was never asked to appear in court or turn myself in, and they forced me away from my wife on Valentine’s Day, of all days.”

Sarsfield said the arrest was carried out by two local officers and 14 sheriff’s deputies. He said his day in jail forced his wife to miss her dialysis appointment. She passed away six months later.

“To say that my life was impacted for the rest of it is an understatement,” he told DX. He said he believes the stress of his arrest and subsequent charges by the DOJ took a toll on his wife, contributing to her deteriorating health.

“We spent 25 years longer than what they said we would, so should I look at that as the silver lining? Or know that because of nefarious actions of our federal government, I will never know how many more we would have had,” Sarsfield said.

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