A man photographed carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern through the U.S. Capitol while a pro-Trump mob rampaged on Wednesday has been arrested, as have two others who were seen in the riot, a West Virginia legislator and a longtime QAnon supporter who was seen wearing wearing a horned helmet and carrying a 6-foot spear.
Adam Johnson, 36, of Parrish, Florida was arrested Friday around 9 p.m. and is being held on a federal warrant, jail records from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office show.
The FBI had been searching for Johnson after he was quickly identified on social media by local residents in the viral photo that shows him wearing a red, white, and blue Trump winter hat while carrying the House speaker’s lectern amid the mob violence Wednesday.
Allan Mestel is acquainted with Johnson and notified the FBI after recognizing him in the photo, NBC-affiliated station in Tampa, Florida, WFLA-TV, reported.
“I felt a little disassociated for a minute. It was almost like, it was surreal. I mean it was surreal. I wasn’t surprised, but I was shocked,” Mestel told WFLA-TV. “Couldn’t believe it, the fact that I recognize somebody from our hometown, was, I was floored.”
Johnson has been charged with one count of knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority, one count of theft of government property as well as one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, which is prosecuting all three cases.
Republican West Virginia legislator Derrick Evans, 35, was also arrested on Friday and is now facing charges for knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority as well as for violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds.
Evans livestreamed a video on his Facebook page Wednesday afternoon outside the Capitol as rioters who support President Donald Trump pushed against a police barricade.
“Bring the tear gas. We don’t care,” Evans is heard yelling. “We’re taking this country back whether you like it or not. Today’s a test run. We’re taking this country back.” At another point in the now-deleted video, he’s heard asking, “Where’s the Proud Boys?” referring to the far-right, all-male, self-described group of “Western chauvinists.”
Evans defended his actions, saying in a Facebook statement that he attended the protest as “an independent member of the media to film history.”
After initially refusing to resign from the West Virginia House of Delegates, Evans announced his resignation Saturday “effective immediately,” NBC-affiliated station in Huntington, West Virginia, WSAZ, reported.
“The past few days have certainly been a difficult time for my family, colleagues and myself, so I feel it’s best at this point to resign my seat in the House and focus on my personal situation and those I love,” Evans said in a statement Saturday. “I take full responsibility for my actions, and deeply regret any hurt, pain or embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends, constituents and fellow West Virginians.
Jacob Anthony Chansley, known as Jake Angeli, was taken into custody Saturday and is facing charges for knowingly entering a restricted building without lawful authority as well as for violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said.
Chansley, 33, of Phoenix, Arizona was photographed in the U.S. Capitol carrying a 6-foot spear and wearing a horned helmet during the riot. The longtime QAnon supporter is known as the “Q Shaman” for attending protests wearing face paint and an elaborate horned fur costume.
Johnson is married to a local physician and is a father of five, WFLA-TV reported.
Before being deleted or taken down, Johnson’s social media accounts had posts showing he was in Washington, D.C., ahead of the riots and included disparaging comments about the Black Lives Matter movement and law enforcement who defended First Amendment protected rights, the Bradenton Herald reported.
The FBI is requesting the public’s help in identifying other Trump supporters who unlawfully invaded the Capitol for about four hours, with investigators poring over surveillance footage and social media posts. The vast majority of the hundreds of people who stormed the building were allowed to leave without getting arrested, making the task of tracking them down exceedingly difficult.
So far, after 16 people have been arrested and charged with federal crimes, and 40 others are facing charges for lower-level crimes after the violence that took place in the Capitol building.