Doctor Who Tried to Save Ashli Babbitt on Jan. 6 Charged With 4 Misdemeanors for Time at the US Capitol

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A California doctor who treated the mortally wounded Ashli Babbitt after she was shot outside the House of Representatives on Jan. 6, 2021, was arrested by the FBI on four criminal charges stemming from his time at the U.S. Capitol.

Dr. Austin Brendlen Harris, 42, of Granada Hills, California, was arrested Jan. 25 in Van Nuys, California.

Harris was charged in a criminal complaint in Washington D.C. with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without authority, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds—both misdemeanors with sentences up to a year in jail. He was also charged with disorderly conduct, and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building—both misdemeanors.

Harris operates NeuroRelief Ketamine & Infusion Therapy in Sherman Oaks, California. He is a board-certified cardiothoracic anesthesiologist.

Harris treated Babbitt’s gunshot wound for four minutes after U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd shot her at about 2:45 p.m. that day. When Babbitt fell from the window frame she was climbing into, Harris stepped forward from the hallway crowd to provide aid.

A video journalist with medic training also tended to Babbitt before police drove both men from the hallway outside of the Speaker’s Lobby.

Harris was on his knees checking Babbitt’s upper chest wound when a U.S. Capitol Police bicycle officer reached down and grabbed him by the shoulders. The officer wrestled Harris away from Babbitt, grabbed him by the jacket and shoved him down the hallway.

Officer Shoves Doctor

The visibly angry officer kept pushing Harris and the two struggled down the hallway. It’s impossible to hear what was said between the men because the crowd was yelling at the police.

“You did that! You did that!” one protester shouted. “You guys shot her!”

Harris went back and asked the officer to retrieve his medical bag, which was still sitting next to Babbitt. The officer handed it back to him.

After Harris left the scene, police carried Babbitt head-first down the steps to the south entrance, where an FBI medic and others tried to keep her alive while a rescue squad was en route. She was pronounced dead at a D.C. hospital at 3:15 p.m.

By Joseph M. Hanneman

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