A Florida man who hurled a fire extinguisher at police officers during some of the most ferocious fighting at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was sentenced on Friday to more than five years in prison, the longest term handed down so far to any of the more than 700 people charged in the attack.
The defendant, Robert Palmer, made his way to the Capitol that day in a distinctive red-white-and-blue flag-styled jacket after listening to President Donald J. Trump address a huge crowd at the Ellipse, a park just south of the White House. Prosecutors say he milled about in the crowd outside the building as violence increasingly broke out between the police and rioters.
By a little before 5 p.m., Mr. Palmer found himself amid the most severe fighting at the lower west terrace, where an almost medieval form of hand-to-hand combat had erupted. There, prosecutors say, he threw a wooden plank-like spear at the police, sprayed a fire extinguisher at officers and then hurled the empty canister at them.