PHILADELPHIA - A retired Pennsylvania firefighter has been arrested on suspicion of throwing a fire extinguisher that hit three police officers during the siege at the U.S. Capitol.
Former Chester firefighter Robert Sanford was arrested Thursday on charges including assault of a police officer and unlawfully entering the Capitol. He is being held in Lehigh County Jail.
The charges against Sanford are not related to the widely publicized attack on an officer who was hit with a fire extinguisher and died.
Sanford had an initial court appearance in Pennsylvania.
During the hearing, Sanford did not speak. But his attorney told the judge Sanford had a clean work record and lived at the same address for 20 years.
His defense attorney says his client did not go to the Capitol with the intention to riot.
"He walked with thousands of people toward the Capitol building, didn't expect to be involved with anything, was not prepared to do anything, didn't bring any weapons with him, was not part of any organized insurrection group," said Defense Attorney Enrique Latoison.
Instead, Latoison says Sanford made a split-second decision.
"This is a micro-second in the long life of someone who's never been arrested, served his community as a firefighter. Unfortunately, he was wrapped up in a situation," Latoison said.
But prosecutors say Sanford is a danger to the community.
The judge ordered Sanford be detained at Lehigh County Jail until he is taken to DC to face charges.