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Wixom man charged in Jan. 6 hockey stick attack denied bond ahead of D.C. court proceeding

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

A 30-year-old Wixom man struck law enforcement at least 10 times with a hockey stick before "rallying" others to climb through broken windows into the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection, federal prosecutors allege. 

A YouTube video and police body camera footage shown at a federal court hearing Monday caught the moment a man authorities believe to be Michael Foy attacked police guarding an entrance to the Capitol with a hockey stick that bore a Trump flag earlier in the day.

The footage, taken around 2 p.m. Jan. 6, included the viewpoint of an officer who was dragged into the crowd and assaulted while he lay on the ground.

A YouTube video and police body camera footage shown at a federal court hearing Monday caught the moment a man authorities believe to be Michael Foy attacked police guarding an entrance to the Capitol with a hockey stick that bore a Trump flag earlier in the day.

The recordings and concerns over Foy's mental health were enough to push U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Morris to order Foy remain detained until his case transfers from Michigan to the district court in Washington, D.C.  

A former Marine with no criminal history, Foy has struggled with alcohol abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, according to prosecutors. Foy attempted to commit suicide during the first week of January and is having suicidal thoughts in jail, officials said. 

Foy appeared at his virtual detention hearing Monday in a green jail vest from Livingston County's jail.

"There is no condition or combination of conditions that can satisfactorily allay the danger that he poses," Morris said at the end of a Zoom hearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hank Moon argued during the hearing that Foy's actions on Jan. 6 "were among the most violent of all participants" and asked the court to keep him detained as his case proceeds.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Hank Moon argued during the hearing that Foy's actions on Jan. 6 "were among the most violent of all participants" and asked the court to keep him detained as his case proceeds. 

"No combination of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of the community, the safety of Mr. Foy or his appearance if he’s released on bond," Moon said.

But Foy's attorney, Colleen Fitzharris, argued her client served in the Marines for five years before receiving an honorable discharge in 2019 and was slated to start a new job Feb. 1. Foy had sought and was receiving mental health and substance help through 2020, Fitzharris said. 

"When we look beyond a single day in a 30-year life, we see a steady history of compliant, law-abiding behavior," Fitzharris said. 

Foy was in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years from 2015 through 2019. He served as a heavy equipment mechanic, according to the Marines. While in the military, he received the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He was never deployed and finished his last assignment at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Fitzharris asked that Foy be released into the custody of his mother, who lives in Standish. His mental health would likely be helped by being around family, she said. 

"The government is simply incorrect to say that Mr. Foy should be in pretrial detention in order to manage that," Fitzharris said. "A mother is a much better monitor of somebody’s mental health and safety than a jailer.” 

Moon argued Foy was no simple bystander, but instead rallied rioters to enter the Capitol after beating police with his hockey stick. 

"The scene is chaotic, graphic and brutal," wrote Moon in a filing ahead of the hearing, citing recordings from the event. 

Video: Warning, graphic content. The FBI last week referenced in a charging document a video from The Black Conservative Preacher that allegedly shows Michael Foy hitting police with a hockey stick and then entering the Capitol. The FBI references segments at the 55 second mark and at the 3 minutes, 45 second mark on the video.

The FBI, in its complaint against Michael Joseph Foy, referenced this photo from a Jan. 6, 2021 rally outside the Washington Monument that preceded the storming of the U.S. Capitol. The photo was posted on Foy's father's Facebook page.

Foy last week was charged with entering a restricted building with the intent to disrupt government business while carrying a dangerous weapon, a 10-year felony; interfering with law enforcement during civil disorder, a five-year felony; forcibly assaulting an officer of the U.S., a 20-year felony; and obstructing an official proceeding, a 20-year felony.

In his motion to keep Foy detained, Moon laid out a Jan. 6 sequence of events at the Capitol pieced together from photos, video and police body camera footage from the day. 

A few moments before the alleged hockey stick attack, "Foy threw what appears to be a sharpened pole at the officers," the prosecutor wrote.

Moments later, rioters rushed officers guarding an entry to the Capitol and pulled them into the crowd. Video from people in the crowd as well as police body camera video show Foy "swung (and appears to have struck officers with) his hockey stick no fewer than 10 times," Moon wrote. The defendant beat officers in the "face, head, neck and body area," he said. 

After the alleged assault, the prosecutor wrote, Foy moved toward a broken window where he appeared to take "a leadership role in the chaos," shouting to the crowd before crawling through the window and into the building. 

"A photograph taken from Foy's cell phone shows some of the rioters standing in the Capitol, glass on the carpet, tables overturned, destruction evident," Moon wrote. 

Foy's behavior appeared to have "escalated" from a Nov. 6 protest at the TCF Center in Detroit, where he appeared to have brought no weapons, the prosecutor wrote. He also participated in a Nov. 14 "Stop the Steal" rally in Lansing.

Michael Foy of Wixom wraps himself in the flag in the chill outside as President Donald Trump supporters gather at the state Capitol Building  in Lansing for a "Stop the Steal" rally disputing the presidential voting Saturday, October 14, 2020.

Prosecutors noted Foy had access to two long guns at his home. His mother, who could serve as Foy's "third-party custodian," has about 10 firearms at her home but offered to remove them if needed. 

"Given his history and characteristics, Foy's detention is appropriate in this case," Moon wrote. 

Foy's bond denial comes three days after Karl Dresch of Calumet was denied bond after allegedly entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Dresch, who has a criminal history, will remain in custody until he is transferred to Washington, D.C., for the remainder of his court proceedings.

Dresch and Foy so far are the only Michigan residents facing federal criminal charges related to the insurrection. 

U.S. District Judge Maarten Vermaat ordered Dresch to remain in custody after considering evidence of ammunition and firearms found last week at his Calumet home. 

Maarten also noted 40-year-old Dresch had made Facebook posts indicating "we will be back" after the storming of the U.S. Capitol. He has a felony on his record resulting from a 145 miles-per-hour police chase in 2013 that tracked through Wisconsin and Michigan.

Dresch and Foy will eventually be transported to Washington, D.C., for the remainder of their court proceedings.  

eleblanc@detroitnews.com