Robert Sanford, the man that was caught on video throwing a fire extinguisher at a police officer during the Capitol riot on January 6 has been arrested. In the footage, Sanford picked up a fire extinguisher from the floor and threw it at an officer who was wearing a helmet. The extinguisher bounced off the helmet and hit two other police officers, NBC News reports.
Sanford’s lawyer stated that the 55-year-old retired firefighter did not think the action through, and he was just caught in the moment. The lawyer, Enrique Latoison, told reporters on Thursday that Sanford is very disconcerted by what he did. Latoison also said the fire extinguisher his client threw was empty and Sanford did not enter the Capitol after it was breached.
Sanford is a Pennsylvanian, and he used to work with the Chester Fire Department, according to reports. DC Attorney’s Office said that Sanford is facing four federal charges for his role in the riot. Prosecutors also stated that one of the officers that were struck with the extinguisher was not wearing a helmet, and he got injured after the object hit him in the head.
Sanford is not being charged for playing any role in the death of Officer Brian Sicknick who was also struck in the head with a fire extinguisher. According to authorities, the incidents are unrelated, CNN writes.
Sanford like many other Trump supporters had traveled to Washington to show their support for the president while the votes were being counted at Capitol, Latoison said, adding that his client told him that he walked with the supporters after they suddenly started heading for the building. The attorney added that things had gotten out of control very fast when the mob arrived at the building.
Latoison stated that Sanford had turned himself in on Thursday, and he is being held without the option of bail.
The riot started after the crowd was allegedly incited by Trump at the rally. The president urged his supporters to match down to the Capitol while Congress was counting Electoral College votes to formally confirm President-elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. Trump is also being accused of brewing violence with his claims of voter fraud during the November 3 election, something he repeated at the rally before the mob attacked the Capitol.
For his part in the riot, the House of Representatives impeached Trump on Wednesday, making him the only president in the history of the United States that has been impeached twice.
According to authorities, five people lost their lives during the riot, including Sicknick and one of the rioters, a woman who a police officer fatally shot inside the building. Three other people died as a result of medical emergencies, reports say. Some other rioters including the man who placed his feet on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk have also been arrested.