Man Who Threw Fire Extinguisher at Jan. 6 Cops Sentenced

Robert Sanford gets 4 years
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2021 4:52 AM CST
Updated Apr 12, 2023 2:00 AM CDT
Man Arrested for Beating Capitol Cop With US Flag
Violent protesters loyal to President Trump, including Kevin Seefried, center, are confronted by Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
UPDATE Apr 12, 2023 2:00 AM CDT

The retired Pennsylvania firefighter who struck two police officers in the head with a fire extinguisher during the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot was on Tuesday sentenced to four years behind bars, the AP reports. A fire extinguisher is “an instrument that he was uniquely familiar with and should have known how much damage it could cause,” a prosecutor wrote in a court filing regarding Robert Sanford's case. Sanford, 57, has been working with a specialist in cult deprogramming since last year. "Even after he was incarcerated, he participated in regular discussions designed to challenge his ideology and belief structure, then help him understand how and why he developed the beliefs that led him to make the decisions that he did on January 6," his defense attorney says.

Jan 15, 2021 4:52 AM CST

Police and the FBI are continuing to track down suspects involved in last week's Capitol riot—including a man seen on video beating a police officer with an American flag. Peter Stager, 41, was arrested at his attorney's office Thursday night, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports. He has been charged in federal court with one count of obstructing a police officer from his duties during a civil disorder, and more charges are likely to be added. Investigators say Stager was part of a mob that grabbed a DC officer who was protecting a Capitol entrance, dragged him down stairs, and beat him with objects including the flagpole, reports the Wall Street Journal.

A man identified as Stager was seen on video taken outside the Capitol saying, "Everybody in there is a treasonous traitor. Death is the only remedy for what's in that building." Others arrested Thursday include a Delaware man who was seen carrying a Confederate flag outside the Senate chamber and a retired Pennsylvania firefighter accused of throwing a fire extinguisher that hit two police officers in the head outside the Capitol. Robert Sanford, 55, was arrested after the FBI received a tip from one of his friends, according to charging documents. Sanford faces charges including assaulting a police officer and unlawfully entering the Capitol, the AP reports. Authorities say the fire extinguisher Sanford threw isn't the one that fatally injured Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. (More Capitol riot stories.)

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