A lone cop chased by rioters appears to have deliberately led the mob away from an open door to the Senate chambers — just seconds before armed security was able to lock it down, according to new reports.
The Capitol Police officer, identified by CNN as Eugene Goodman, went viral after he was caught on video stranded and being chased by a baying mob who refused to adhere to his repeated demands to stand back.
Detailed analysis by The Washington Post shows that he held them back for almost a minute — at the exact time as a half-dozen armed officers were inside the chamber desperately trying to secure it.
The stranded officer appears to have noticed that the rioters came right up to the entrance of an open door leading straight to the still-unsecured chambers — and deliberately led them the other way.
The officer appears to notice the open door as he glances to his left once at the top of the stairs — initially standing in the way, before pushing the man at the front of the mob in a bid to get him to antagonize him and get him to follow as he ran the opposite direction, away from the door.
“There’s a moment when the lead rioter looks right for a second, before continuing to follow the officer left, away from the immediate entrance to the Senate,” noted HuffPost congressional reporter Igor Bobic as he shared a screengrab of the key moment from his initial viral video.
The stranded officer finally got back up as he led the group away from the chambers, photos Bobic posted at 2:16 p.m.
A Washington Post reporter’s notes said that the Senate was sealed at 2:15 p.m. — suggesting it was “mere seconds of a differential” from when the mob had been filmed feet from the then-open chambers.
Had the officer not led them the other way, there could have been a far different confrontation — with the officers inside the chambers, including one with a semiautomatic weapon standing in the middle of the floor scanning each entrance for intruders, the paper noted.
The new details quickly had the officer being hailed a “national hero.”
“It seemed at first like he was running away from the rioters, but was actually leading them to where he wanted. Great work,” one admirer, Ricardo Alouidor, wrote on Twitter.
Attorney and podcaster Susan Simpson also praised the quick-thinking “strategy” he used after being overwhelmed by rioters following him as he first “tries to block the way” through the open door.
“He shoves the first rioter, p—ing him off, and then leads the whole mob the other way,” Simpson wrote along with a series of stills from the video.
“To save the lives of others at his own expense, when being chased by a racist mob? True baller,” Simone McDonald wrote, calling it “bravery on a different level.”
Remember his name,” wrote Kristin Wilson, the CNN reporter who first identified the officer. “He almost certainly saved lives on Wednesday. My thanks, Officer Goodman. THANK YOU.”
Doug Jensen, 41, of Des Moines, Iowa, was arrested Saturday for being the alleged leader of the mob chasing the officer.