Retired Pennsylvania Fire Fighter is Arrested and Criminally Charged for Actions at the U.S. Capitol
WASHINGTON, D.C. –A retired Pennsylvania firefighter was charged yesterday and arrested today in Pennsylvania in connection with the riots at the U.S. Capitol last week.
Robert Sanford, 55, of Boothwyn, PA, was charged by criminal complaint with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly or disruptive conduct on capitol grounds, civil disorder, and assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers while engaged in the performance of official duties.
It is alleged that during the events at the U.S. Capitol, Sanford struck three U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers with a fire extinguisher. A video, recorded by an individual who was present in the crowd, captures when a man throws what appears to be a fire extinguisher at a group of USCP officers protecting the lower west terrace of the Capitol.
The fire extinguisher struck one officer, who was wearing a helmet, in the head; then, the fire extinguisher ricochets striking a second officer, who was not wearing a helmet, in the head; and ricochets a third time and strikes a third officer, wearing a helmet, in the head. After throwing the fire extinguisher at USCP, Sanford leaves the area in the opposite direction. Federal authorities were able to identify Sanford, after receiving a tip on January 12.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Counterterrorism Section of the DOJ’s National Security Division, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The cases are being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the United States Capitol Police.
The information contained in the charging documents are merely allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The ATF and FBI continue to urge the public to report suspected use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone with information can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or submit information anonymously via ReportIt.com.
The FBI is looking for individuals who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at fbi.gov/USCapitol.