St. Augustine man charged in connection to Capitol riots released on bond Friday

61-year-old John Anderson of St. Augustine, who faces five charges in connection to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6., was granted a conditional release Friday afternoon on bond.

Anderson is accused of grabbing a police shield during a standoff between officers and rioters at the entrance of the Capitol.

If convicted of all five charges against him, Anderson could face up to eight and a half years in prison and fines up to $555,000.

He was released on a $25,000 signature bond and only needed to pay a 10% deposit to be released.

Conditions include travel restrictions limited to the Middle District of Florida. He may not visit Washington for purposes other than court appearances or consulting his attorney. Additionally, he may not have access to his guns, and may not obtain a passport.

Anderson’s attorneys indicated in court Friday his guns are being sold on consignment.

Action News Jax went to Anderson’s listed address for his side of the story but found a business with no signs of anyone living there.

Newly obtained records detailing Anderson’s position on pretrial release claim Anderson tried to record a crowd of people pushing towards police blocking an entrance to the Capitol, before making his way to the front of a crowd, grabbing a police shield, then asking officers for help before collapsing.

“The Government’s evidence against Mr. Anderson is summarized as his attempt to record the events of a crowd of people pushing towards officers blocking an entrance into the Capitol on January 6,” the document states. “Mr. Anderson making his way to the front of the crowd, grabbing a shield, protecting his face with the shield, and asking the officers for help before collapsing and being helped. This all transpires within a matter of 13 minutes.”

A surveillance image from inside the Capitol shows Anderson getting help from first responders.

“Amid the pepper spray and release of a fire extinguisher into the crowd, Mr. Anderson suffered a medical emergency,” the document states. “He asked for medical help from Capitol police. He fell to the ground and told officers that he needs an ambulance and that he ‘can’t breathe.’”

The document detailing Anderson’s request for release says he did not threaten officers.

“Mr. Anderson was not threatening the officers or attempting to hurt them as he made his way to the front of the crowd,” documents state. “There is no claim from the Government that Mr. Anderson made any threatening statements. Instead, their evidence shows that he was seeking assistance from the officers. Mr. Anderson remains very grateful for their help and asked his attorney to thank the officers for saving his life that day.”

Federal magistrate judge Monte Richardson agreed to release Anderson, after prosecutors and defense attorneys argued he was not a threat to the community or a flight risk.

Anderson will appear before a Washington judge virtually in March.


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