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NJ man charged in Capitol riot had heart attack in jail

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NJ man charged in Capitol riot had heart attack in jail

A former MMA fighter turned North Jersey gym owner, charged for his part in the attack on the Capitol, suffered a heart attack while behind bars, according to his attorney.

Attorney Harley Breite told NBC 4 New York that Scott Fairlamb, who also has leukemia, suffered a heart attack at the Hudson County Jail.

Breite, who also is a former MMA fighter, told NBC 4 New York that he is trying to get Fairlamb released over the objections of prosecutors.

Charges were recently filed against Fairlamb by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia including certain acts during civil disorder; assaulting a federal officer; knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; carrying a dangerous weapon; violent entry and disorderly conduct on capitol grounds.

A federal judge in New Jersey initially ordered Fairlamb released on $50,000 bond last month with electronic monitoring, but detained him after prosecutors objected. Breite said Friday he is working to schedule another hearing to try to get Fairlamb released as he awaits a potential trial in Washington.

An affidavit filed in the case last month showed a photo of someone authorities identified as Fairlamb allegedly punching a police officer in the head. A different photo allegedly showed Fairlamb picking up a collapsible baton that had fallen on the ground and putting it under his arm.

According to the affidavit, a video showed Fairlamb with the baton suggesting that patriots would “disarm them” and “storm” the Capitol.

The crime of carrying a dangerous weapon while illegally entering a restricted building to disrupt government business is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, according to court documents filed by the government last month.

A friend of Fairlamb’s identified him and the FBI also compared still photos and videos of Fairlamb at the Capitol with his driver’s license photo, according to court documents. Fairlamb, a former mixed martial arts fighter, owns a gym in Pompton Lakes and lives in the Stockholm section of Hardyston Township in Sussex County.

The affidavit previously had identified him as a resident of Butler, in Morris County.

“My client has a long history of supporting law enforcement agencies throughout this country, and we hope that people don’t rush to judgment before hearing all of the facts,” Breite said Friday.

More than 200 people have been charged in the Capitol breach, including at least 10 from New Jersey. A Capitol Police officer and South River native, Brian Sicknick, was killed during the riot. The South River native’s ashes laid in the Capitol rotunda before he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Fairlamb also was accused of threatening Missouri Rep. Cori Bush in June before she was elected to her first term in Congress in November.

In a message on her personal Twitter account after Fairlamb’s arrest Bush said Fairlamb threatened her life on social media.

Fairlamb’s brother, Preston Fairlamb III, once led security for then-first lady Michele Obama.

CNN was first to report that Preston Fairlamb III was close enough to the first lady to merit a mention in her book “Becoming.”

“All of us grew close to our agents over time. Preston Fairlamb led my detail then,” Michelle Obama wrote in her 2018 book.

The first lady also attended the memorial service for Preston’s father, who died in 2012. According to Preston “Jay” Fairlamb Jr.’s obituary, he was a retired State Police trooper and a member of the Rolling Thunder and the Blue Knights motorcycle groups.

(Includes material copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Other New Jersey residents charged (in alphabetical order)

New Jersey residents charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot (in alphabetical order)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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