Feds: NJ gym owner boasted about ‘disarming’ cops at Capitol riot

“What Patriots do? We f-----g disarm them, and then we storm f-----g the Capitol!” The man was heard saying in a since-deleted video, in which he’s seen holding a stolen collapsible baton


Molly Crane-Newman
New York Daily News

A New Jersey man who refused to close his gym down during the COVID-19 lockdown went before a judge Friday for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Scott Fairlamb appeared in a black hoodie for his virtual arraignment on charges he punched and disarmed a federal officer during the pro-Trump insurrection on the nation’s highest house of government.

“What Patriots do? We f-----g disarm them, and then we storm f-----g the Capitol!” Fairlamb was heard saying in a since-deleted video, in which he’s seen holding a stolen collapsible baton.

The FBI has sought the nation’s assistance in identifying thousands of people who trespassed and defiled the Capitol following a “Stop the Steal” rally held by former President Donald Trump.

Fairlamb’s face became familiar to many last May when he defied orders from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in refusing to shut down his eponymous gym in Pompton Lakes, CBS reported. The feds said four tipsters identified him.

“The government here is seeking detention given the nature of the offense,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Murphy at the Zoom hearing.

“He punched a police officer in the head during those riots — he also picked up a collapsible baton, which is captured on video. My understanding is that baton was actually found in Mr. Fairlamb’s residence today.”

Fairlamb, whose rap sheet notes a history of assault, was hit with a host of charges, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, assaulting a federal officer, entering or remaining in a restricted building, and carrying a dangerous weapon. He was held on $50,000 bail.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 18 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

Fairlamb’s attorney Harley Breite said his client is a cancer survivor and is responsible for keeping people employed during a pandemic.

“There’s no allegation that my client picked up a baton and used it against anybody. The allegation is he picked it up and took it with him. One might pose the argument that he took a potential weapon away from a scene where people were using weapons,” Breite said.

Murphy pushed back on the argument, reminding the judge Fairlamb was audibly heard on video advocating for disarming officers to storm the Capitol.

“He was possessing that baton when he said that on the video. He was at these riots. He punched a police officer at these riots. He had a violent role in these riots,” she said.

Though he acknowledged the incident was a stain on the country’s history and the evidence against Fairlamb “reasonably strong,” U.S. Magistrate Judge James Clark declined to hold him in custody. The judge ordered Fairlamb subject to home detention and electronic monitoring.

Federal prosecutors said they intend to appeal the judge’s decision not to hold Fairlamb in custody to a judge in D.C., where he will be prosecuted.

(c)2021 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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