Ashli Babbitt’s mother arrested for assaulting woman at event supporting Capitol riot defenders

File: Ashli Babbitt’s mother at a protest outside the supreme court  (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
File: Ashli Babbitt’s mother at a protest outside the supreme court (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Ashli Babbitt’s mother was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly assaulting a counter-protester at a right-wing event outside a Washington DC jail.

Micki Witthoeft, 58, was taken into custody surrounded by officers who handcuffed her before taking her into a waiting police van, The Daily Beast reported.

She was arrested and charged with simple assault and destruction of property, Hugh Carew, a DC Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson told the publication.

Ashli Babbitt was the 35-year-old woman killed on 6 January 2021 while trying to disrupt a joint meeting of the Congress.

In videos recorded from the incident, Ms Witthoeft could be seen racing after a counter-protester holding a camera.

The counter-protester was seen blaring a loud siren sound from her megaphone, in an apparent effort to annoy the people gathered outside the prison in support of imprisoned 6 January defendants.

As the woman raised her middle finger, Ms Witthoeft allegedly pushed her before pushing her off the sidewalk. She then continued to follow her.

While waving the American flag, Ms Witthoeft sped up to the woman, snatched her megaphone and smashed it on the ground.

It was not clear what preceded the incident. Mr Carew said Ms Witthoeft was arrested in the 1800 block of E Street SE, near the DC jail.

Following Ms Witthoeft's arrest, the group of right-wing protesters reportedly gathered around the police vehicle, chanting: "Ashli Babbitt! Ashli Babbit!"

“Arrested for defending Ashli Babbit's honour,” a right-wing protester yelled, according to The Daily Beast.

Ms Witthoeft was released just hours after her arrest and she returned to the protest area outside of the jail. “I did klonk my head getting in the paddy wagon,” she told supporters.

“The MPD department on M St has a serious rat problem.”

“It really wasn't that bad,” she said, explaining the booking process.

Ms Witthoeft was previously arrested in January this year in Washington DC while protesting on the second anniversary of the Capitol attack. She was arrested when a group of protesters who did not have a permit to demonstrate on the Capitol grounds attempted to cross a street and enter the venue.

"The officers and officials told the group to get out of the road or the group would be arrested. The sidewalk was open. A woman in the group was given multiple warnings to get our of the road," the Capitol police said.

"Instead of getting out of the road, the woman refused to leave, turned around with her hands behind her back, and asked to be arrested."

Prosecutors later dropped the charges against her.