Richard ‘Bigo’ Barnett, Rioter Pictured With Feet Up on Nancy Pelosi’s Desk, Arrested on 3 Federal Counts
Richard “Bigo” Barnett, 60, of Gravette, Arkansas claimed he "got shoved in" and "was looking for a bathroom," but confirmed he "threw [his] feet up on the desk."
Richard “Bigo” Barnett, the Arkansas rioter who was photographed with his feet on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk during the storming of the US Capitol, has been arrested. He was taken into custody Friday in Little Rock on three federal counts of entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent entry and theft of public property, the Department of Justice said, according to NBC News.
It is not yet clear whether he has an attorney.
"Just because you've left the D.C. region you can still expect a knock on the door if we find out you were part of the criminal activity at the Capitol," FBI's Steven D'Antuono told CNN. "The FBI is not sparing any resources in this investigation."
After Barnett went viral Wednesday after being photographed with his feet on the House Speaker’s desk, he took to the streets bragging about his exploits.
Not only did the 60-year-old from Gravette rejoin the mob that formed outside the U.S. Capitol after he and other extremists were ejected from the building, he also took the opportunity to speak to media reporting live on the ground.
“I threw my feet up on the desk,” Barnett told 5News. He also boasted about leaving her a note that read, “Nancy, Bigo was here, you B****.”
His face was swollen from pepper spray and his shirt had been ripped open by the time he exited the Capitol, a journalist with The New York Times reported.
Barnett was also holding up an envelope with the Office of the Speaker’s letterhead, bragging, “I picked up the envelope and put it in my pocket, and I put a quarter on the desk ‘cause I’m not a thief,” 5NEWS reported.
Barnett, however, insisted he didn’t do anything wrong, and didn’t intend on breaking into the Capitol building. “I was climbing the steps to see what was going on. When I got to the top, they had breached the doors and were trying to get in,” he said. “I didn't do anything. I didn't breach the doors. I got shoved in. I didn't mean to be there. Hell. I was walking around looking for a bathroom."
On social media, however, Barnett is vocal about sharing beliefs with those who stormed the Capitol. Not only is he a gun rights advocate and a Trump supporter, Barnett also believes in the false claims that the election was stolen and that there existed “mountains of evidence” of voter fraud, the Washington Post reported.
Barnett also perpetuates other conspiracy theories, including some about the coronavirus pandemic and its vaccines, and anti-child-trafficking campaigns with links to QAnon, according to the Washington Post.
He also identified himself as a White Nationalist on a page he maintained under a pseudonym, the Washington Post reported. “I am white," he wrote. "There is no denying that. I am a nationalist. I put my nation first. So that makes me a white nationalist.”
On Twitter, he calls himself “George Reincarnated Patton,” after the U.S. Army General who led the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944.
Mayor Kurt Maddox, of Gravette, said his office has received many calls surrounding the incident. “The City believes in the right of every citizen to safely express their rights given to them by the Constitution. However, we do not in any way condone violence, rioting, or breaking the law," Maddox said in a statement on Facebook.
Calls the Washington Post made to a cell phone number registered in his name went unanswered.
Barnett isn’t the only person tied to the Capitol assault that has since been identified.
A rioter who wore an unmistakable horned fur hat and face paint has, now identified as 32-year-old Jake Angeli from Phoenix, Arizona, also spoke out after being photographed at the Senate Dais, where Vice President Mike Pence sat just minutes before being evacuated.
Angeli calls himself a shaman and is a follower of QAnon.
The man who beamed a gleeful smile at reporters’ cameras as he took off with a lectern has been identified by the Bradenton Herald as 36-year-old Adam Johnson, a stay-at-home father of five and psychologist from Bradenton, Florida.
Member of West Virginia’s House of Delegates Derrick Evans, who was only sworn in last month as a first-time officeholder, was also among the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol. He stands by his involvement “as an independent member of the media to film history,” he wrote on Facebook.
“Today, I had the opportunity to film another event in DC,” his post continued. “I want to assure you all that I did not have any negative interactions with law enforcement nor did I participate in any destruction that may have occurred.”
Shortly before the post, Evans had been livestreaming his involvement in the insurrection. The now-deleted video showed the mob bursting through the door and a voice yelling, “We’re in. We’re in. Derrick Evans is in the Capitol,” WV MetroNews reported.
Evans’ colleagues have since come out to condemn his actions. “He will need to answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today,” House Speaker Roger Hanshaw said, according to WV MetroNews. “While free speech and peaceful protests are a core value of American society, storming government buildings and participating in a violent intentional disruption of one of our nation’s most fundamental political institutions is a crime that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Additional Trump supporters appeared to celebrate in D.C.’s Renaissance Hotel lobby and bar after authorities cleared people from the Capitol and Capitol grounds Wednesday.
“Do you regret being part of yesterday?” Inside Edition’s Steven Fabian asked people boarding busses home Thursday morning.
“I didn’t cause any damage,” the person responded. “Ultimately, I think a message was sent.”
The FBI is continuing to accept tips about the identities of the people involved in the Capitol assault.
Click here for CBSN's coverage as developments follow. More stories on this incident below.
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