Wearing a Nationals jersey with his last name on the back, U.S. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman threw the ceremonial first pitch at Friday's Washington Nationals game against the New York Mets, which the Nationals won 1-0.
Goodman, a D.C. native and Army veteran, was praised for his quick thinking after a viral video showed him luring rioters to chase him up a staircase and away from the Senate floor. Security footage unveiled during the impeachment trial for former President Trump revealed that earlier, Goodman had also helped divert Senator Mitt Romney away from a near run-in with the angry crowd.
Nationals outfielder Kyle Schwarber stepped in to catch Goodman's ceremonial pitch Friday, though the throw landed a few inches in front of the plate, prompting Goodman to look to the sky with a chuckle. The Nationals said the home game would promote the Neighborhood Heroes Fund, a program that Schwarber manages to support first responders.
Goodman, who was later promoted to acting deputy Senate sergeant-at-arms and was chosen toVice President Kamala Harris during the 2021 inauguration, was deemed a reluctant hero and has continually declined interviews with the press. But in the aftermath of the riot, Goodman became an unwitting focal point of a months-long political battle over how to recognize officers who defended the Capitol that day.
The Senate voted unanimously in February to pass a bipartisan bill that would award Goodman with a Congressional Gold Medal for his bravery, but the legislation was held up by disagreements with lawmakers in the House, who wanted instead to recognize all of the officers who defended the Capitol that day.
The House ultimately passed a bill Tuesday that would award four medals to honor the officers from all law enforcement agencies who protected the Capitol January 6. The bill passed with 406 votes, with 21 Republicans voting against the bill.
The man at the front of the mob chasing Goodman, Doug Jensen, has been indicted on seven charges that include civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding, and is also accused of wielding a knife during the siege.
Prosecutors have said Jensen, who wore a "Q" shirt at the Capitol, is a self-proclaimed "religious" adherent of the conspiracy theory "QAnon." Prosecutors said he scaled a wall on U.S. Capitol grounds and was at the front of a line of protestors who clashed with law enforcement outside the building.
Jensen was also among the first 10 people in the crowd to climb through a glass window and enter the building, prosecutors said, and according to a U.S. Capitol Police officer who came to Goodman's aid, he was the "most aggressive of the rioters" because he constantly encouraged others in the crowd to advance during a standoff with law enforcement. Jensen, who is currently being detained as he awaits trial, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report.