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Oath Keeper charged in Capitol riot claims she met with Secret Service

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Oath Keeper charged in Capitol riot claims she met with Secret Service

A leader of the far-right Oath Keepers group who was charged in connection with the US Capitol riot claims she was in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 to “provide security” at the pro-Trump rally and met with Secret Service agents, according to court filings.

Jessica Watkins, 38, was allegedly given a “VIP pass” to the rally where then-President Donald Trump spoke before the siege, her attorneys wrote in a defense petition filed Saturday.

“Ms. Watkins was present not as an insurrectionist, but to provide security to the speakers at the rally, to provide escort for the legislators and others to march to the Capitol as directed by the then president, and to safely escort protesters away from the Capitol to their vehicles and cars at the conclusion of the protest,” the filing states.

“She was given a VIP pass to the rally. She met with Secret Service agents.”

The Ohio native is one of nine people linked to the Oath Keepers charged with conspiring to storm the Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s election victory.

Prosecutors allege members of the anti-government group coordinated as early as November to attack the Capitol.

The Afghanistan war veteran is also accused of forcibly entering the Capitol building during the siege, “with a line of individuals wearing Oath Keeper clothing, patches, and insignia.”

But in Saturday’s filing, her attorneys claimed that she “did not engage in any violence or force at the Capitol grounds or in the Capitol.”

Watkins, who has been detained since mid-January, pleaded not guilty to the conspiracy charges.

She is asking to be released to home confinement while awaiting trial, noting she is at risk for “harsh treatment” as a transgender woman.

A Secret Service representative said that any assertion the agency hired private citizens to perform security on Jan. 6 “is false.”

With Post wires

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Spectators injured by out-of-control vehicle at Texas mud racing event

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Spectators injured by out-of-control vehicle at Texas mud racing event

Eight people, including spectators, were injured Sunday at a Texas mud racing event after an out-of-control vehicle plowed through a guard rail, a report said.

Three of the victims were critically injured in the crash at a track in Fabens, KTSM reported, citing authorities. The other five people suffered non-life threatening injuries.

It was not immediately known what caused the driver to exit the track and crash. Three other vehicles were also hit, the report said.

A medevac helicopter was spotted at the event, along with several ambulances.

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Over 5,800 USPS workers attacked by dogs last year

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Over 5,800 USPS workers attacked by dogs last year

Over 5,800 USPS workers were attacked by dogs last year, the agency recently announced ahead of a campaign to highlight the issue.

“From nips and bites to vicious attacks, aggressive dog behavior poses a serious threat to postal employees and the general public,” the USPS said in a Thursday press release.

Of all major US cities, Houston last year experienced the most dog attacks on letter carriers — with 73 of them, the service said in its release. Chicago and Los Angeles were second and third on the list, with 59 and 54, respectively.

California, meanwhile, was home to the most dog attacks by state in 2020 with 782.
New York had 295 attacks, which was the fourth most of any state.

As part of the weeklong awareness campaign, which began Saturday, the service is providing guidance to dog owners to help mitigate the problem.

Among the pointers is not letting children in homes with dogs to take mail from the letter carriers, as the animals may view the worker as a threat.

Kansas City letter carrier James Michael Benson was recently attacked after a child answered the door.

“I knocked on a customer’s door to pick up a package and as a young child answered, a dog came bursting out of the door and bit my forearm, knocking me to the ground “ said Benson.

“I was in shock and struggling with the dog, when he lunged and bit me again on my face, under my ear.”

The dog was then restrained by its owner.

“Dogs are instinctive animals that may act to protect their turf and that why it’s important to inform the public about this campaign,” USPS Acting Employee Safety and Health Awareness Manager Jamie Seavello said in a statement.

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Iowa man gets 10 years for brutal beating over face mask

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Iowa man gets 10 years for brutal beating over face mask

An Iowa man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for attacking and coughing on a person who asked him to wear his mask properly.

Shane Wayne Michael, 42, apparently flew into a rage after a man requested that he pull his mask up over his nose in a Des Moines eyewear shop in November, according to local reports.

The victim said Michael followed him to his car, cornered him in the parking lot — and then knocked him to the ground, gouged his eye and kneed him in the groin, according to The Iowa Capital Dispatch.

Michael then coughed in the man’s face, spit on him and said, “‘If I have it, you have it,” referring to COVID-19, the report said.

The Saylor Township resident was convicted last month of willful injury causing serious injury, and sentenced on Wednesday, according to The Des Moines Register.

Micheal claimed he was acting in self defense and only jabbed his finger in the man’s eye after the man bit him, the outlet said. The victim admitted he bit Michael after being kneed in the groin.

The incident is one of the more severe face mask disputes to arise during the coronavirus pandemic.

An Asian woman was punched in the face by a man who she asked to wear a mask in a Lower East Side shop in April.

A month earlier, another Asian woman was attacked in Midtown by a man who was angry she wasn’t masked up outside.

“Where is your corona mask, you Asian b—h,” the female suspect yelled as she punched the woman, sources said.

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