Man suspected of throwing fire extinguisher at police in U.S. Capitol is arrested
By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A retired firefighter who is suspected of throwing a fire extinguisher at police during last week's mob attack on the U.S
By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A retired firefighter who is suspected of throwing a fire extinguisher at police during last week's mob attack on the U.S. Capitol has been arrested, a U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday.
Robert Sanford, 55, of Chester, Pennsylvania, will appear in a virtual hearing in federal court in Allentown, Pennsylvania on Thursday to face charges of unlawful entry, civil disorder and assaulting, resisting or impeding police.
According to court documents, Sanford was captured on video hurling what appears to be a fire extinguisher at police.
"The object appears to strike one officer, who was wearing a helmet, in the head. The object then ricochets and strikes another officer, who was not wearing a helmet, in the head. The
object then ricochets a third time and strikes a third officer, wearing a helmet, in the head," the documents say.
The Justice Department has brought more than 70 criminal cases so far since supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, trying to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the winner of the U.S. presidential election.
Many of the people arrested so far were captured on social media bragging about taking part in the assault, and the FBI has been combing through more than 100,000 videos and photographs.
After the violence was quelled, most of the rioters were allowed to leave the Capitol, meaning law enforcement has had to track them down in the days since.
One such person was Hunter Ehmke, charged by the Justice Department on Thursday with damaging government property, obstructing an official proceeding and violent entry.
According to court documents, a Capitol Police officer witnessed Ehmke smash a window at the Capitol and rushed at him with his shield to try to stop him.
The officer "lost grip of the shield and fell" into shards of glass, the documents say. Police managed to detain Ehmke but the crowd started to become aggressive and threatened police not to take Ehmke away.
"Due to the growing aggression of the large crowd that far outnumbered the officers and the exigent circumstances at
the time, officers made the decision to allow Ehmke depart under his own power," according to the government's statement of facts.
Ehmke was due to be in court in the Central District of California at 1 p.m. PST.
The deadly violence last week led to the impeachment of Trump on Wednesday by the House of Representatives on a charge of inciting an insurrection.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Frances Kerry)
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