Gym Owner Who Defied COVID Lockdown Charged for Attacking Cop at Riots: Feds

·5 min read
Criminal Complaint
Criminal Complaint

A New Jersey gym owner who made local headlines for defying COVID-19 restrictions has been arrested for punching a Washington, D.C., police officer in the head during the Capitol riots, authorities said Friday.

Scott Kevin Fairlamb, a former ultimate fighter and current owner of Fairlamb Fit, was charged Friday with several crimes for his role in the Jan. 6 riots, including assaulting a federal officer and carrying a dangerous weapon.

According to a criminal complaint, Fairlamb was captured on video shoving and punching an officer on the west side of the Capitol, at one point hitting him in the head. In a since-deleted video posted on Fairlamb’s Facebook, the gym owner, who was carrying a collapsible baton, shouts, “What Patriots do? We fuckin’ disarm them and then we storm fuckin’ the Capitol.”

Oath Keeper Charged in Capitol Riots Was ‘Preparing for Literal War,’ Feds Say

Prosecutors say they were first alerted to Fairlamb’s identity after several tipsters sent in videos, including one of him “standing on the scaffolding erected on Capitol founds.” Another tipster, identified as a childhood friend, told federal authorities Fairlamb was the owner of Fairlamb Fit and had made a video of himself saying, “they were going to disarm them and then storm the capitol.”

According to his gym’s website, Fairlamb started his professional MMA career in 2000 and “was proclaimed to become a top ultimate fighter until his journey for greatness took a ominous [sic] detour.”

“In the midst of training and just two weeks after his MMA debut, Scott was diagnosed with a form of leukemia,” the website states. “Though to some this may sound like an unfortunate turn of events—Scott’s reaction was nothing but expected as he knew the only option he had was to...FIGHT.”

The website adds that just weeks after his diagnosis, Fairlamb returned to training before opening Fairlamb Fit in 2014. During his career, Fairlamb was an undefeated golden and diamond gloves champion, his website states.

Rioter Charged for Beating D.C. Police Officer With Hockey Stick During Capitol Insurrection: DOJ

Last spring, when New Jersey was forced to close down all gyms to curtail the spread of the deadly coronavirus, Fairlamb garnered local attention by announcing plans to reopen his gym whether Gov. Phil Murphy allowed it or not.

“He has overstepped his boundaries and it’s time for these gyms, that are, that are essential to open up,” Fairlamb told CBS New York.

The gym owner is among more than 100 rioters who have been charged in the riots, including several members of far-right extremist groups and a Michigan man who attacked a police officer with a hockey stick.

A Colorado geophysicist who allegedly beat up an officer during the riots—then tried to flee to Switzerland the next day—was also arrested on Friday.

Jeffrey Sabol, 51, was busted at Westchester Medical Center on Friday after he admitted to assaulting an officer on the steps of the Capitol in a “fit of rage,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Gianforte said during a Friday hearing.

Gianforte said video taken by the Washington Post shows Sabol, who wore a helmet and Carhart jacket to the Jan. 6 riots, dragging an officer down the stairs while another protester hits him with an American flag. In another video, Sabol holds a police baton across the officer’s neck. After the savage attack, Sabol then bought a plane ticket to Zurich.

“What is one of the many things Switzerland is known for? One of them is being a non-extradition country,” Gianforte said. “He thinks he won’t get shipped back home to face the music.”

Gianforte added that Sabol attempted suicide, a sad turn that he said “can be taken as [a] consciousness of guilt.” Magistrate Judge Andrew Krause on Friday ordered Sabol to be detained pending trial, stating his “conduct is beyond the pale ... I find it shocking.”

A Federal Aviation Administration employee who believed in the QAnon conspiracy theory was also arrested for his role in the riots on Friday.

Kevin Strong, a California resident who was already under investigation by the FBI when he stormed the Capitol, is facing several charges after admitting to participating in the insurrection and taking a selfie in front of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, according to a criminal complaint.

A week prior to the riots, a witness told the FBI that Strong believed in “Q clearance” and had declared that World War II was going to occur on Jan. 6. The witness added that Strong had a “WW1WGA” flag—representing the popular QAnon slogan “where we go one, we go all”—at his house and had stated he believed the conspiracy theory was going to cover the cost of a truck he had recently bought.

Despite being under investigation, Strong went to the nation’s capital and participated in the riots, where he was captured on several news broadcasts. The complaint states that his FAA co-workers noticed Strong and contacted their employer’s internal investigations team—who then called the FBI.

When federal authorities asked Strong why he went to D.C., Strong said he “went to see Trump speak and walk in the ‘Million MAGA March,’” insisting he had “Q Clearance.”

A Texas man who was captured on video participating in the riots has also been charged. Ray Grider, 39, was seen on video handing a helmet to another rioter attempting to break a glass window into the House chambers on Jan. 6.

According to a criminal complaint, the rioter who took the helmet “proceeded to use it to strike the glass doors…breaking the glass that [Ashli] Babbitt eventually attempted to jump through” before she was shot. Babbit is among five people who died during the insurrection.

“Video footage also captured how Grider attempted to push open the doors and then kick the doors in an attempt to breach the entrance leading to House Chamber where members of Congress were located,” the complaint states.

In an interview with KWTX-TV after the riots, Grider admitted he was within several feet of Babbitt when she was shot outside the Speaker’s Lobby—and that everyone panicked after that because there were “thousands of people behind us pushing us forward.”

“The president asked people to come and show their support. I feel like it’s the least that we can do, it’s kind of why I came from central Texas all the way to D.C.,” Grider said.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here

Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!

Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting