A retired Pennsylvania firefighter was arrested Thursday on federal charges that he threw a fire extinguisher that had been hit by three police during a fatal blockade in the state agency last week. Last
Robert Sanford, 55, who retired from the Chester Fire Department outside Philadelphia last year, turned himself into the FBI to face charges that included: Assault of police officers, disorderly conduct in congressional grounds, civil disorder and illegal entry into government agencies
Sanford, a supporter of President Donald Trump, was “caught up in the idea of a mob,”; his attorney Enrique La Terson told The Associated Press.
The allegations against Sanford were not related to the widespread attack on Agent Brian Signic, who was assaulted by fire extinguishers during the siege and subsequently killed.
Sanford is incarcerated in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh County prison, where he first went to court in video on Thursday.
Latoison argued with the judge that Sanford should be bailed, citing his long service as a firefighter, strong family ties and a lack of criminal record. Sanford, a married third-child father, did not go to Washington with arms or rioting intent and was not among any extremist groups, defense attorney Enrique La Toson argued.
Federal prosecutors confirmed a Sanford home search Thursday had caused a T-shirt involving the far-right Proud Boys.Latoison later told the AP that the inventory of the searches indicated there were no t-shirts. That said, and he said Sanford vigorously denied ownership.
Noting the seriousness of the allegations, a judge ordered Sanford to be detained without bail, saying he was detrimental to the community.
Authorities said the case would be prosecuted in Washington.
The FBI asked residents this week to help identify a man seen in video stills who picked up fire extinguishers and threw them at police outside City Hall on Jan. 6, according to billing documents, fire extinguishers splashed from officers’ heads. Three people Two people wearing helmets
Sanford, 55, traveled by bus with others to the capital, according to documents. He told a friend upon returning home that he was in the area 10 minutes before leaving. But it did not mention throwing any items at officials, officials said.
The friend saw a photo released by the government and contacted the police.
Latoison told the AP that Sanford attended a Trump rally near the White House, where the president told his supporters to walk to City Hall and “fight like hell” against the election results.
Without admitting Sanford’s guilt, Latoison said Sanford marched to government agencies after Trump’s speech, “and things went steamy and he was caught.”
“People who seem like good people with good intentions put themselves in a group and do stupid things that they wouldn’t,” he said.
“I am not defending what happened,” added Latoison.
Sanford joined the Chester Fire Service in 1994 and retired almost a year ago. He has an untainted history, the city spokesperson said.
Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland called last week’s riots a domestic terrorism and said that if current or past city employees were involved, “we hope our legal system will work accordingly. Purpose and bring them to justice “
This story was edited to show that Sanford appeared through a video judgment before a federal judge whose courtroom was in Allentown did not appear in court in Philadelphia. Fiia