Florida firefighter seen at the Capitol just got arrested. His lawyer shifts the blame

Madeleine Marr

A Central Florida firefighter photographed inside the U.S. Capitol during last week’s pro-MAGA riot was arrested Tuesday on charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful entry.

Andrew Williams had been put on paid administrative leave by the Sanford Fire Department, where he had worked since 2016, but is now on unpaid leave.

“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,” his boss, Sanford Fire Chief Craig Radzak, said in a statement.

#MediaRelease NEWS FROM SANFORD FIRE DEPARTMENT Sanford Fire Department Places Firefighter on...

Posted by Sanford Fire Department on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

After a hearing in federal court in downtown Orlando on Tuesday, Williams was released and ordered to surrender his passport and all weapons.

The first responder also was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and cannot travel outside the state of Florida, unless it is for legal business.

Williams will not be fired while his agency further looks into the fireman’s involvement, Radzak added.

“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.”

Williams’ lawyer blamed others for his client’s issues as they were leaving the courthouse.

“The president and the Capitol police encouraged despicable behavior,” Vincent Citro told a press pool as they entered a waiting car. “Mr. Williams took part in none of it.”

A judge set bond at $25,000. Williams’ next court date is Jan. 22 in Washington, D.C.

Each offense is punishable for up to a year in jail.