The Department of Justice charged a retired firefighter on Wednesday, accusing him of throwing a fire extinguisher at police officers during the Ja
The Department of Justice charged a retired firefighter on Wednesday, accusing him of throwing a fire extinguisher at police officers during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Robert Sanford of Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, faces four federal charges, including assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers while engaged in the performance of official duties and disorderly or disruptive conduct on Capitol grounds.
Video published by Storyful from the Capitol steps shows a man heaving a fire extinguisher from an elevated position toward a line of officers who were trying to hold back a mob of rioters.
Riot arrests:Here’s the latest list of those who have been charged.
According to charging documents, the extinguisher thrown by the man in the video ricocheted and hit three officers in the head, two of whom were wearing helmets and one who was not.
The FBI received a tip from Sanford’s friend, who identified the 55-year-old and said Sanford had confessed that the FBI was looking for him, according to the documents. The friend told the agency Sanford recently retired from the Chester Fire Department.
Video that day captured a man wearing a knit cap with the letters “CFD” on the front, and the person who alerted the FBI confirmed it was Sanford. In an interview, the person who tipped off the FBI said Sanford told him he was on the Capitol grounds that day.
The Wall Street Journal first reported Sanford’s arrest.
Officials told the Wall Street Journal that the extinguisher Sanford is accused of throwing is different from the one that killed Officer Brian Sicknick. Police said Sicknick was injured “while engaging with rioters” and collapsed in his division office before he died Jan. 7. Sicknick was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.
The charges in Sanford’s case are only the latest among dozens of cases stemming from the riot, in which five people died. The Department of Justice has arrested people from at least 18 states, and the FBI is working to identify more.
On Tuesday, Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, said the 170 subject files investigators had opened were just the “tip of the iceberg.”