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Largo man accused in Capitol police attack

Robert Scott Palmer was identified as a man seen on video spraying and tossing a fire extinguisher toward Capitol police.
In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo,)
In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo,) [ JOHN MINCHILLO | AP ]
Published Mar. 17
Updated Mar. 17

TAMPA — A Largo man is the latest person to be accused of taking part in the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

Robert Scott Palmer was arrested Wednesday and appeared in the afternoon in federal court in Tampa. He faces charges of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers, civil disorder and being in a restricted building or grounds, according to federal court records.

Documents describing the specific allegations against Palmer were not immediately available Wednesday.

But the Huffington Post identified him in a March 5 story as a man who was recorded spraying and throwing a fire extinguisher at Capitol police officers amid a swelling mob outside the building.

In video of the incident posted to YouTube, the man is seen wearing an American flag jacket, a white and blue mask, and a red cap. He wades through a vociferous crowd near an archway that appears blocked by police shields. He raises a red fire extinguisher and sprays a gray cloud toward the shields.

After a few seconds, the man hurls the fire extinguisher, which appears to strike one of the police shields. He then grabs at his mask before retreating into the crowd.

The FBI featured three images of the man on a web page seeking to identify the legions of people who stormed the building that day. The photos are labeled as “Photograph #246 AFO,” an abbreviation that means assault on a federal officer.

This photo distributed bby the FBI shows a man who was seen on video spraying and throwing a fire extinguisher toward Capitol police during the Jan. 6 insurrection. He was later identified as Robert Scott Palmer of Largo.
This photo distributed bby the FBI shows a man who was seen on video spraying and throwing a fire extinguisher toward Capitol police during the Jan. 6 insurrection. He was later identified as Robert Scott Palmer of Largo. [ Federal Bureau of Investigation ]
This photo distributed bby the FBI shows a man who was seen on video spraying and throwing a fire extinguisher toward Capitol police during the Jan. 6 insurrection. He was later identified as Robert Scott Palmer of Largo.
This photo distributed bby the FBI shows a man who was seen on video spraying and throwing a fire extinguisher toward Capitol police during the Jan. 6 insurrection. He was later identified as Robert Scott Palmer of Largo. [ Federal Bureau of Investigation ]

Palmer, 53, appeared in a separate video interview apparently taken hours after the violent siege. The video, posted to YouTube by CJTV Media LLC, shows him wearing the same garb, raising his shirt to show a bleeding wound on his bare belly, apparently from a less-lethal round fired by police. His cap bears the words “Florida for Trump.”

The interview is largely inaudible over profane shouting heard in the background, but toward the end he gives his name as Robert Palmer. He says he’s from Clearwater.

Reporters for the Huffington Post identified Palmer after receiving a tip from an internet sleuth who worked to identify the man known as “#FloridaFlagJacket.”

Palmer’s attorney, Bjorn Brunvand, said he turned himself in once he was informed that he would be charged.

“He’s remorseful for his actions,” Brunvand said. “We hope to resolve them without extensive litigation. I don’t think it necessarily reflects who he is, despite the fact that he did some things that weren’t very smart and that he regrets.”

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A judge on Wednesday allowed Palmer to go free on a $25,000 signature bond, meaning he will only have to pay if he fails to show up in court. He was also ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation.

Palmer is one of more than 300 people who have been accused of federal crimes related to the Jan. 6 insurrection. Five people, including a police officer, died in the melee. The total includes at least 26 Floridians.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times U.S. Capitol coverage

REACTING TO RESPONSE : Did race play a role in police treatment of the U.S. Capitol mob?

CALL TO ACTION: Charlie Crist: Remove Donald Trump from office by invoking 25th Amendment

25TH AMENDMENT: When can it be used against a president?

EDITORIAL: The ugly spectacle perfectly captured the Trump-era GOP.

CLASSROOM TOPICS: Tampa Bay teachers, parents brace for tough conversations after U.S. Capitol siege

POLITIFACT FACT-CHECKS THE SIEGE: Here’s a look at the day’s short session, and the chaos that interrupted it.

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