Sanford firefighter faces charges for his role in Capitol riot

Andrew Williams pictured inside Capitol building

Sanford firefighter faces charges for his role in Capitol riot
Sanford firefighter faces charges for his role in Capitol riot

SANFORD, Fla. – A Sanford firefighter who was pictured inside the Capitol building during a large-scale riot last week has been arrested on federal charges, records show.

Andrew Williams was taken into custody Tuesday on charges of disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and knowingly entering the temporary residence of the president without authority to do so.

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He appeared in court on Tuesday and a judge set his bond at $25,000. Now that he has been released from custody, he will need to surrender any firearms and his passport, restrict his travel and submit to mental health evaluations and drug tests.

If convicted, he could receive a fine or up to six months in prison.

The picture sent to News 6 shows Williams wearing a Trump 2020 hat and pointing at a placard for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi’s office was vandalized during the riots and other photos show rioters sitting at her desk.

The Sanford Fire Department said last week that an investigation had been launched and Williams was on leave with pay but now that he has been arrested, Williams has been placed on administrative leave without pay.

Investigation launched after photo shows Sanford firefighter inside Capitol during riot
Investigation launched after photo shows Sanford firefighter inside Capitol during riot

“We hold the men and women in this department to the highest standards. 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. Our investigation will continue in conjunction with the current federal criminal investigation. As is policy with any type of policy violation, including a criminal violation, an internal administrative process must be followed in order to ensure a thorough investigation with a just conclusion. I ask for the public’s patience as we move through this process,” Sanford Fire Chief Craig Radzak said in a news release.

Crowds of President Donald Trump’s supporters pushed through police and entered the Capitol building on Wednesday as Congress was preparing to certify the Electoral College votes that would make President-elect Joe Biden’s win official.

At least five other Florida men have been arrested thus far.

Now, ahead of next week’s inauguration, authorities nationwide are preparing for potentially violent protests and demonstrations.