Authorities said a Pennsylvania man accused of throwing fire extinguishers at a group of police officers during last week’s Capitol riots, officials said.
Robert Sanford, 55, a retired firefighter from the Chester Fire Department, was charged with four federal charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia in Washington said.
A fire extinguisher struck a helmet-wearing officer to the head, then ricocheted two other officers, one not wearing a helmet to the head, prosecutors said.
Sanford’s allegations were unrelated to the death of US state police officer Brian Sicknick, The Associated Press and The New York Times reported Sicknick was hit by a fire extinguisher.
Sanford sank during the time and made “Make a split-second decision,”; which he deeply regrets his lawyer, Enrique Latoson, said on Thursday. “Everyone is in a group mindset,” he said.
Latoison said Sanford did not enter the Capitol.He said the thrown fire extinguishers were empty and that attacked officials reported no injuries.
Sanford went to Washington to attend President Donald Trump’s rally and had no intention of causing disturbance, he said.
Trump said. ‘We’re going to the town hall.’ Next thing you know is thousands of people walking, “Latoison said.” When he got down there, things went crazy. “
Sanford was ordered to bail without bail. He turned to the FBI on Thursday morning as requested by officials, his lawyer said.
Sanford is accused of being arrested in a video of throwing fire extinguishers at a group of officers after the mob took over police and broke through barricades. The video showed he picked up an object from a low balcony and hurled it as the officer back against the wall.
The FBI’s testimony in the case said the state police He “felt a strong hit” on the back of his helmet as he tried to control the crowd and saw fire extinguishers on the floor. Officers are assessed and cleared to return to their duties.
The riots came after Trump encouraged people in rallies to walk to the city hall on the day when Congress was counting the official vote, confirming President Joe Biden would win.
The president has been accused of inciting the uprising, both in the language of the rally and by repeatedly and unfounded claims that the election was fraud or stealing. Trump also suggested Vice President Mike Pence could overturn Biden’s victory that Pence had no power to.
Trump was indicted by the House of Representatives on Wednesday for charges. It is the only time in the country’s history that there have been two impeachment of the president.
Authorities said five people were killed in the riot, including Sicknick and a woman shot by a Capitol police officer inside the building. Three others died from medical emergencies.
People have been arrested from all over the county following the events of Wednesday in Washington, D.C.