FBI arrests man dressed in panda costume for allegedly attacking police during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack
Federal investigators said Monday that they had arrested a man who they say dressed up in a panda costume during the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot and attacked law enforcement.
Jesse James Rumson was taken into custody in Florida and charged with numerous felony counts, including assaulting and obstructing police outside the Capitol building.
According to charging papers made public on Monday, Rumson – who became anonymously referred to as “#SeditionPanda” by some online communities – made his way to the Capitol as part of the large mob of Trump supporters, putting on at various points the panda costume head.
After rioters broke a door in the Senate wing, investigators say Rumson hopped over railings and was “among the first approximately twenty” to enter the building through that entryway. Pictures from that day show the defendant, wearing a panda costume head, wielding a white flag that read, in part, “Don’t tread on me.”
While inside, according to prosecutors, Rumson lost his panda head and appeared to have been handcuffed before being forced out of the Capitol through another door.
Photographic evidence presented in court documents shows what investigators say are other rioters helping remove the handcuffs from Rumson’s wrists before he celebratorily held up wooden rosary beads in the crowd.
Once freed, he allegedly ran through the crowd gathered outside the Capitol and towards a line of officers defending the building. Rumsen then grabbed an officer’s mask, “which forced the officer’s head and neck back and upwards.”
A CBS News review of court records and hearings shows that approximately 980 defendants have been charged with alleged crimes stemming from the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. More than 310 have been charged with assaulting, impeding, or obstructing law enforcement during the riot, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C.
An attorney for Rumsen has yet to be identified.