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.
Andrew Williams, a firefighter-paramedic with the Sanford Fire Department, appeared in federal court Tuesday and was released on a $25,000 signature bond, according to the court documents.
The Sanford Fire Department launched an investigation into Williams’ involvement after the photo circulated online. Fire Chief Craig Radzak confirmed it was Williams in the photo 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.
Records from federal court in Florida show that Williams’ case is being transferred to the District of Columbia.
He is allowed to travel to DC as necessary for court appearances, according to the conditions.
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.”
Firefighter arrested after photo showed him pointing at a placard for Pelosi in US Capitol Building The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ CNN.