Pennsylvania man arrested for allegedly throwing fire extinguisher at police during U.S. Capitol riot

A retired Chester firefighter who allegedly threw a fire extinguisher at U.S. Capitol Police during the insurrection last week could face up to 10 years in prison. 

Robert Sanford, 55, of Boothwyn, Delaware County, was among hundred of pro-Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 while Congress was certifying the Electoral College results, according to a criminal complaint filed by the FBI in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. 

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A video shows Sanford carrying a fire extinguisher on the Lower West Terrace shortly after the mob broke through barriers, authorities said. It depicts Sanford throwing the fire extinguisher, striking three police officers in their heads. One of them was not wearing a helmet. 

The incident can be seen in the tweet below. Sanford is wearing “a stocking cap, a dark jacket or shirt with a plaid pattern, and a light and dark two-tone backpack,” according to the complaint. A longer video can be viewed on YouTube. 

Sanford is facing four charges for allegedly taking part in the riot:

•Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority
•Disorderly or disruptive conduct on U.S. Capitol grounds
•Civil disorder and assaulting 
•Resisting or impeding certain officers while engaged in the performance of official dutiesSource/FBI

Robert Sanford

The FBI identified Sanford after a friend contacted a bureau office, saying Sanford had admitted to being a person of interest, the complaint says. Sanford had been on the Capitol grounds for about 10 minutes, but did not mention throwing any objects, his friend told the FBI. The friend identified screen captures from the video footage as depicting Sanford. 

Thousands of Trump supporters participated in the “Stop the Steal” rally earlier that day, decrying baseless voter fraud allegations that the president has spread since the November election. 

Sanford traveled to Washington by bus with a group of people, his friend told the FBI. After listening to President Donald Trump speak near the White House, he joined the crowd in heading to the Capitol. 

More than 100 people have been arrested for their alleged roles in the 

violent riot, which prompted Congress to evacuate and left five people dead. 


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