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The Wall Street Journal was the first to report that retired Chester (PA) Fire Department firefighter Robert Sanford is the man with the “CFD” hat seen on video throwing a fire extinguisher at a group of police officers during the U.S. Capitol riot. Sanford was arrested this (Thursday) morning.
It’s important to note law enforcement officials say murdered U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was not among the group of police officers struck by the fire extinguisher the FBI claims was thrown by Sanford. Sanford’s arrest is separate from the investigation into Officer Sicknick’s death. Sicknick was apparently hit by a fire extinguisher during a different incident. He later died due to his injuries.
Sanford now faces three felony charges, including assaulting a police officer. The FBI says Sanford was part of a group of “insurrectionists” at the West Front of the Capitol. According to the Journal report, the FBI was tipped by someone who knew Sanford. News reports indicate Sanford retired from the Chester Fire Department last February.
Yesterday, a retired Chicago firefighter spoke out about social media users mistakenly targeting him as the man in the CFD hat. David Quintavalle received death threats after Twitter users and others connected his name to images taken at the Capitol. Quintavalle says his lawyer provided proof to the FBI that he was in the Chicago area at the time of the attack on the Capitol. Quintavalle’s son is a police officer.
In an affidavit filed in connection with Mr. Sanford’s arrest, an FBI special agent described the mob as “insurrectionists.” “The video was shot from an elevated position and showed an area of the Capitol with a large group of police officers surrounded on at least three sides by a group of insurrectionists,” the statement of facts said. It also described the object hitting all three officers in the head, including one who was not wearing a helmet.
The tipster relayed to the FBI in an interview that Mr. Sanford had told his friend that he had traveled to Washington, D.C., with a group of people on a bus, that the group had gone to the White House and listened to President Trump’s speech “and then had followed the President’s instructions and gone to the Capitol,” the statement said.
MORE: From court docs – Sanford was reported to the FBI by a longtime friend who told them Sanford traveled to DC "on a bus with a group of people" that attended Trump's speech "and then had followed the President's instructions and gone to the Capitol." pic.twitter.com/1NR9X1aofs
— Alex Mallin (@alex_mallin) January 14, 2021
Urgent, please surface more footage of this unidentified male seen throwing a fire extinguisher at a group of #CapitolPolice.
— John Scott-Railton (@jsrailton) January 11, 2021