Man Who Posed For Photos Sitting At Desk In Pelosi's Office Has Been Arrested
The Department of Justice 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.
Updated at 2:19 p.m. ET
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.
Outrage over the photo and the insurrection in the seat of U.S. democracy triggered a harsh backlash against Barnett's home town of Gravette, according to Mayor Kurt Maddox, who said on Friday, "Barnett is now in custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a list of pending charges."
The city had been closely monitoring the situation, 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."
Maddox acknowledged that Barnett lives in Gravette. But he added 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. He added, "With all of the challenges 2020 brought to our country, the people of this safe small town have presented themselves with grace and pride." [Copyright 2021 NPR]