A Florida man on Monday admitted to assaulting police officers with a fire extinguisher during the US Capitol riot, federal prosecutors said.
Robert Scott Palmer pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers using a dangerous weapon — and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine at his sentencing on Dec. 17, according to the Department of Justice.
Palmer, 53, was on the “front lines” of rioters who confronted police officers during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, prosecutors said.
He acknowledged that he threw a wooden plank at cops protecting the building, and then sprayed them with a fire extinguisher before hurling it at them.
No specific injuries were reported due to Palmer’s actions, but the DOJ noted that the size and weight of the objects he chucked made them capable of “inflicting serious bodily injury.”
Images from the Jan. 6 riot showed Palmer, wearing an American flag jacket, spraying officers with the extinguisher at close range before throwing the emptied canister at them, the Huffington Post reported in March.
Footage from the riot also allegedly showed him shoving through a crowd of rioters to a line of cops while sporting a jacket that read: “FLORIDA FOR TRUMP.”
The outlet tracked down Palmer with the help of an internet sleuth who worked with the Twitter group @capitolhunters to find Palmer’s identity using online images — including of his signature jacket — and other information.
He was arrested on March 17, days after the website revealed his identity.
In the eight months since Jan. 6, more than 600 people from nearly every state have been arrested in connection with the breach at the Capitol. At least 185 of them have been charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement.
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