A Florida man today pleaded guilty to assaulting law enforcement with dangerous weapons during the January 6 violation of the United States Capitol, which disrupted a joint session of the United States Congress that was in the process of determining and counting electoral votes related to the presidential election.
According to court documents, Robert Scott Palmer, 54, of Largo, was among the rioters outside the U.S. Capitol on the afternoon of January 6. At around 4:53 p.m. he was standing by the arch leading from the lower west terrace to the interior of the Capitol. While there, he threw a plank of wood at the United States Capitol Police (USCP) and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers protecting the lower west entrance to the terrace. About two minutes later, he was in the front line of rioters facing the officers under the arch of the lower west terrace. At this point, Palmer sprayed the contents of a fire extinguisher on the officers until they were empty. He then threw the fire extinguisher at the officers.
While no specific injuries were linked to this conduct, given the size and weight of the board and the extinguisher, as well as the speed and force with which Palmer threw them, the objects were capable of inflicting serious bodily harm.
Palmer was arrested in Florida on March 17 and is expected to be sentenced on December 17 at 12:30 p.m. a dangerous weapon. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case is being pursued by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Counter-Terrorism Section of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. Valuable assistance was provided by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Florida.
The case is currently under investigation by the FBI’s field offices in Tampa and Washington, with assistance from the United States Capitol Police and the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department. The FBI’s Washington Field Office identified Palmer as No. 246 in his news search photos.
In the eight months since Jan. 6, more than 600 people have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the violation of the United States Capitol, including at least 185 people accused of assaulting or d ‘hinder law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.
The charges contained in any criminal complaint or indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until his guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt by a court.