Hunt for people involved in Capitol riot moves closer to Mid-South

Arkansas man photographed in Pelosi’s office among 13 charged following Capitol riot
Updated: Jan. 8, 2021 at 9:48 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - An Arkansas man who went viral after being photographed sitting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office chair during Wednesday’s Capitol siege was arrested Friday by the FBI.


Richard Barnett, of Gravette, Arkansas, is among 13 people facing federal charges.

FBI spokeswoman Diane Upchurch says Barnett, 60, turned himself in at 10 a.m. Friday and FBI Little Rock agents took him into custody at the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Richard Barnett, an Arkansas man photographed in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during the...
Richard Barnett, an Arkansas man photographed in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office during the Capitol riot, was arrested Jan. 8, 2021 by the FBI. He's facing multiple federal charges.(Washington County, Arkansas Sheriff's Office)

As WMC reported Thursday, Barnett is seen in a video posted to Facebook last year claiming to be a retired Memphis firefighter. The Memphis Fire Union confirmed a former firefighter by the same name but could not confirm it is the same man.

A news release from the Justice Department Friday reads: “The lawless destruction of the U.S. Capitol building was an attack against one of our Nation’s greatest institutions,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin. “My Office, along with our law enforcement partners at all levels, have been expeditiously working and leveraging every resource to identify, arrest, and begin prosecuting these individuals who took part in the brazen criminal acts at the U.S. Capitol. We are resolute in our commitment to holding accountable anyone responsible for these disgraceful criminal acts, and to anyone who might be considering engaging in or inciting violence in the coming weeks – know this: you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The DOJ says more charges are coming and efforts to find the rioters continue.

Barnett is charged knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and theft of public money, property or records.

U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant says finding rioters and bringing them to justice is a priority.

“We are certainly taking all of this serious and will spare no resources investigating and holding these people accountable either in Washington D.C. or here in West Tennessee,” said Dunavant.

Federal investigators are relying on the public’s help to find the remaining people who breached the Capitol. If you recognize anyone or know anything call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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