SANFORD, Fla. (WESH) – A Sanford, Florida, firefighter who was photographed inside the U.S. Capitol building during riots last week is now facing federal charges.
Andrew Williams is charged with disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to federal records.
He made an initial appearance in federal court on Tuesday and will be released on a $25,000 signature bond, meaning he won’t have to pay unless he fails to show up for court.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida confirmed that Williams had been charged by the USAO in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said there is video of Williams in the Capitol and when someone worried about getting arrested, Williams said, “they can’t arrest everybody.”
After his appearance in court, Williams quickly left, but his attorney laid the blame on President Trump and police.
“The president and the Capitol police encouraged despicable behavior. Mr Williams took part in none of it. In fact, you’ll notice in the complaint there are no allegations that he did any of those things,” attorney Vince Citro said.
As a condition of his release, Williams is not allowed to have any weapons in his home and must undergo mental health evaluation.
The Sanford Fire Department, in response to a public record’s request from our affiliate station WESH 2 News, shared the photograph, which shows a man inside the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday.
The fire chief said it appears to be Sanford firefighter and paramedic Andrew Williams.
The fire chief said Williams is on administrative paid leave and will be on leave until the investigation of the photo is completed.
The administrative investigation Williams was under is being suspended until the conclusion of the federal criminal investigation.
“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.
Williams has been with the Sanford Fire Department since 2016.
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