A Florida firefighter was arrested for unlawful entry of a restricted building and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to court documents, after a photo surfaced of him wearing a Trump 2020 hat and pointing at a placard for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi inside the US Capitol last week.
Andrew Williams, a firefighter-paramedic with the Sanford Fire Department, appeared in federal court Tuesday, the Orlando Sentinel reports. He was released on a $25,000 signature bond.
This is Sanford (FL) firefighter Andrew Williams. He was suspended today after participating in yesterday’s MAGA terrorist attacks. The DA is looking into charging him with sedition. pic.twitter.com/rUKL1PrOad
— Chief Resistance Officer (@crushthebigots) January 8, 2021
The arrest comes after video captured a man who appeared to be Williams among those who stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C. while Congress was voting to confirm the results of November’s presidential election. “We are storming the Capitol! Yeah baby!” the man who appears to be Williams says in the video.
Fire Chief Craig Radzak confirmed it was Williams in the viral photos and videos and said that Williams had been with the department as a firefighter-paramedic since October 2016.
Williams has been placed on administrative leave without pay, according to an updated release from the fire department.
As one of the bail conditions, Williams must appear at all court proceedings. In addition, he is not allowed to possess firearms, ammunition or dangerous weapons, and must surrender his passport by Friday.
Vince Citro, an attorney for Williams, told CNN affiliate WESH TV that President Donald Trump and the Capitol police are to blame for the attack.
“The President and the Capitol police encouraged despicable behavior,” Citro said, speaking outside of court. “Mr. Williams took part in none of it. In fact, you’ll notice in the complaint there are no allegations that Mr. Williams did any of those things.”
The Sanford Fire Department has suspended its investigation pending the conclusion of the federal investigation, according to its statement.
“We hold the men and women in this department to the highest standards,” Chief Radzak said in the release. “It saddens me that the actions of one individual have tarnished the hard work and dedication that the rest of the department puts forth on a daily basis.”
This is moment @CitySanfordFL firefighter Andrew Williams left federal court after being arrested for his participation in #CapitolRiot. His attorney says @POTUS encouraged “despicable” behavior and that Williams “took part in none of it.” @MyNews13
🎥: Nick Allen pic.twitter.com/giYUgsKqeQ
— Eric Mock (@EricMockTV) January 12, 2021