A man who allegedly took part in the insurrection on January 6 2021 wearing the head of a panda costume has been arrested by the FBI.
Jesse James Rumson was arrested in Florida on Monday. He is accused of storming the US Capitol among hundreds of other supporters of former President Donald Trump in an attempt to block Congress from certifying the 2020 election victory of President Joe Biden.
Court records state that Mr Rumson faces several charges including assaulting, resisting, or impeding an officer and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds.
Video footage from the day of the insurrection shows that a man wearing the head of a panda costume entered the congressional complex via an emergency fire escape just seconds after it had been forced open by the mob and he moved towards police officers attempting to stop the rioters from getting further.
Online investigators who have aided in the identification of hundreds of people who took part in the riot have named the man “Sedition Panda” and they had revealed images of him before his arrest.
Here's footage from a Jan. 6 trial of what that break-in by the Senate Parliamentarian's office looked like from the inside: pic.twitter.com/BTBjH3LmIw
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) June 1, 2022
The FBI has said that Mr Rumson was the man wearing the panda head, identifying him after he took it on and off during the siege.
He was seen in footage showing his face, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit.
Mr Rumson is reported to have been in the building for less than 15 minutes, the document states. After he left the building, he was allegedly seen in footage urging rioters to break through another door.
“Get a ram!” the man shouted.
He’s then reported to have assaulted an officer, taking hold of the officer’s face shield.
The DC US Attorney’s Office released information this month showing that at least 985 people have been arrested in connection to the insurrection, NBC News noted.
“Around 2:40 pm EST, once other rioters had successfully broken open the Capitol’s Parliamentary Door on the Upper West Terrace, RUMSON can be seen running from the Senate Wing Door, hopping over railings, and climbing the stairs to enter the Capitol through the Parliamentary Door; he was among the first approximately twenty rioters to enter that door after it was breached,” the affidavit states.
The document states that Mr Rumson appeared to have lost the panda head inside the Capitol.
“At approximately 2:54 pm EST, RUMSON is captured on CCTV footage exiting the Capitol through the same door from which he entered, the Parliamentary Door, without the headpiece and with his hands behind his back,” the affidavit states.
It’s unclear if Mr Rumson has retained an attorney to speak on his behalf.