North Cornwall Twp. Police officer released under wife’s supervision after federal court hearing


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A hearing just wrapped up in federal court in Harrisburg. It comes after a local police officer was arrested at his home on Friday for his role in the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

A preliminary hearing and detention hearing lasted for more than 3.5 hours. An FBI agent took the stand and was questioned for several hours about North Cornwall Township police officer Joseph Fischer.

Probable cause was found during the preliminary hearing. As for the detention hearing, Fischer was released to his home to be under the supervision of his wife.

There were also several conditions the judge imposed, including no social media, and not allowing Fischer to leave the middle district of Pennsylvania — except to go to D.C. for future court hearings.

In court on Tuesday, three videos were shown: a Facebook video that the FBI determined Fischer took while at the Capitol Jan. 6, police bodycam footage and surveillance video from the Capitol.

They showed Fischer with a big group of people pushing their way into the D.C. building. The video shows Fischer falling, then trying to take video or pictures with his phone inside the Capitol.

The FBI agent said it appeared he was pushing police, but the defense said he was pepper-sprayed and stumbling because he was disoriented. He was in the Capitol building for about four minutes and made his way out around 3:25 p.m. that day. That was after the Capitol was breached at 2 p.m. and at 2:20 p.m. the chambers were evacuated.

His wife was questioned for the detention hearing. She testified saying he has numerous health conditions and knew he was going to D.C. Fischer has no prior criminal record.

This case will now move to D.C. Fischer has been suspended without pay from the North Cornwall Township Police Department.

His next hearing is Thursday at 1 p.m. over Zoom.

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