A jailed Capitol rioter reportedly lied about needing surgery on his pinky finger, which prompted a federal judge to hold D.C. jail officials in contempt for limiting his access to medical care.
Christopher Worrell, a member of the Proud Boys accused of assaulting police during the Jan. 6 insurrection, has been behind bars since his arrest in March. In August, Worrell's defense attorney said in a court filing that after falling in his jail cell and breaking his pinky finger in May, Worrell was denied care for months, despite a doctor at a nearby hospital saying he needed surgery.
"In August, Worrell told the court that 'due to the jail's delay the hand [would] require surgery' rather than being reset in a doctor's office," Washington's WUSA Channel 9 reports.
On Oct. 13, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said jail officials had violated Worrell's civil rights, according to Reuters.
But on Wednesday, federal prosecutors said in a motion that Dr. Robert Wilson, the Howard University Hospital doctor who examined Worrell, determined that his hand had already healed normally and that he was suffering no pain or loss of function.
"Dr. Wilson also confirmed that Mr. Worrell simply invented what he asserted in August 2021," federal prosecutors wrote in the motion. "Dr. Wilson stated in his interview that he never said anything of the sort, and that the comment Mr. Worrell attributes to him also 'makes no sense.'"
According to DOJ medical records, Worrell was treated with a "closed reduction" and a splint for his broken pinky on May 17, WUSA reports.
"Prosecutors say his records show he was 'primarily dissatisfied with the appearance of his pinky finger' and demanded surgery to fix the cosmetic issue over the advice of Wilson, who told him the risks of surgery on his healed finger could outweigh the benefits," the station reports. "The filing said the hand surgery Worrell has sought was an 'elective procedure' and not urgent, citing notes from a doctor who treated Worrell."
Worrell reportedly was scheduled for the elective surgery, but canceled on Oct. 20 to seek a second opinion.