Man Who Posed For Photos Sitting At A Desk In Pelosi's Office Has Been Arrested
Updated at 4 p.m. ET
The Justice Department says Richard Barnett, identified as the man who sat at a desk in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during the siege of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump extremists, has been arrested.
Barnett was taken into custody in his home state of Arkansas. His identity and place of residence became a hot topic of discussion online, sparked by the striking photo of him with his feet up on the desk.
Other figures who made headlines at the riot are also now facing charges — including West Virginia state Del. Derrick Evans, a Republican who took office one month ago. Evans streamed video from the Capitol that was widely seen on his Facebook page, showing him on the grounds and just outside the building.
A signed complaint charges Evans with entering a restricted area, Justice Department officials said.
Along with Evans and Barnett, 12 other people are now charged with federal crimes, including many counts of intent to impede government business and unlawful entry into a restricted area. Some also face weapons charges.
Barnett is charged with entering a restricted area, along with "violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds" and "theft of public money, property, or records." The Justice Department notes that he "allegedly entered a restricted area of the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi."
After exiting the Capitol, Barnett spoke in a profanity-laced video to The New York Times about being in Pelosi's office, waving a piece of mail he said he had taken.
Barnett is being held at the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Fayetteville, Ark., according to Charlie Robbins of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Arkansas.
Outrage over the photo and the insurrection in the seat of U.S. democracy triggered a harsh backlash against Barnett's hometown of Gravette, according to Mayor Kurt Maddox.
Officials have been monitoring the situation closely, the mayor said.
"This picture has gone viral and has brought the city of Gravette into the spotlight, which is unfortunate," Maddox said in a statement posted online. "We have had citizens receive threats, calls to our police, social media posts, and emails wanting to know what Gravette is going to do about this situation."
Despite the massive size of the insurrection at the Capitol, fewer than 100 people were arrested on Wednesday and early Thursday. Those arrested were from across the U.S., including North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Oregon. Washington, D.C., police said officers were "scouring" local hotels to make more arrests before extremists left the area.
Charges are also filed regarding a pickup with Alabama plates that Capitol Police found was holding a cache of 11 Molotov cocktails and other weapons.
Officials say the red GMC Sierra pickup was registered to Lonnie Coffman. He is now under arrest, charged with possessing a destructive device and carrying a pistol without a license. The Justice Department says Coffman was also in possession of two firearms.
Federal agents are working around the clock to hold people accountable, and their work is far from over, said Steven D'Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Washington field office.
Do you see anyone you recognize? The #FBI is still seeking information to help identify individuals who actively instigated violence on January 6 in Washington, D.C. Visit https://t.co/o9rDVDsk5S to see images from current cases, and submit tips to https://t.co/buMd8vYXzH. pic.twitter.com/R9JqN8TqpP— FBI (@FBI) January 8, 2021
In a briefing call Friday, D'Antuono said that even though people have left the nation's capital region, they should still expect a knock at their door if they broke the law while taking part in the protest and ensuing riot.
Maddox, the mayor, acknowledged that Barnett lives in Gravette but he said that the man is not representative of the town's residents.
"The vast majority of the citizens who live in Gravette AR are salt of the earth people, who would help their neighbors at a moment's notice," the mayor said.
"With all of the challenges 2020 brought to our country, the people of this safe small town have presented themselves with grace and pride."
Here's the full list of the people the Justice Department says are now facing federal charges, from the agency's news release:
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