OCALA, Fla. – A suspect in the Capitol riot investigation dubbed “Sedition Panda” was nabbed Monday by FBI agents in Central Florida.
According to court documents, investigators claimed 37-year-old Jesse James Rumson, of Lecanto, Florida, was the man inside a panda costume at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021.
Investigators said Rumson was seen in cell phone and surveillance video marching to the U.S. Capitol, jumping over police railings and entering the Capitol through the Parliamentary Doors.
“At least one open-source photograph further depicts Rumson, as #SeditionPanda, walking the halls inside the Capitol wearing the panda headpiece,” the report read.
They said Rumson was seen removing his headpiece several times.
They said they received a tip that it may be Rumson, and a person who used to live with Rumson positively identified him to federal investigators.
Investigators said Rumson exited the Capitol and walked to the Senate Wing Door.
“Shortly thereafter, Rumson is captured in open-source video and photographs near the Senate Wing Door sometime right around the time when that door was breached for a second time,” the report read. “In the video, he can be heard yelling “Get A Ram!”
Investigators say Rumson then assaulted a member of law enforcement.
“Evidence further shows that Rumson, wearing the same hoodie with the red and gray striped band around the elbow area, assaulted at least one law enforcement officer, S.A., by, after running through the crowd towards the officer, reaching out, and grabbing the officer’s face shield, which forced the officer’s head and neck back and upwards,” the report read.
Rumson faces eight federal charges, which include impeding a member of law enforcement, aiding and abetting, entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct.
He appeared for an initial appearance in federal court in Ocala on Monday, where he was immediately released after prosecutors said they were not seeking detention right now.
Rumson must follow a list of conditions, including submitting a DNA sample, remaining employed and other factors.
His criminal case will be tried in Washington, D.C.
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