Capitol rioters arrested, losing jobs from social media posts

Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on January 6, 2021, in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Two days after a mob of President Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, trashing lawmakers' offices and damaging property, several are being arrested and finding themselves without jobs.

The FBI on Friday said it arrested perhaps one of the most visible participants in Wednesday's insurrection -- Richard Barnett of Arkansas. A video he posted online from the night showed him inside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office with his feet up on her desk.


Another video showed Barnett boasting about taking an envelope from her office.

Charlie Robbins of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Arkansas said Barnett was in custody at the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

He was arrested in his hometown of Gravette, Ark., by the FBI, according to the town's mayor, Kurt Maddox. The mayor said Barnett's participation in the Capitol riot has brought "unfortunate" attention to his town.


"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 Facebook post. "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 FBI said officials found 11 Molotov cocktails and a military-style weapon in Barnett's truck.

Though investigators were attempting to apprehend most suspects before they left Washington, D.C., the FBI said it will make arrests outside the nation's capital.

"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," said Steven D'Antuono, the assistant director of the FBI's Washington, D.C., field office.

"The FBI is not sparing any resources in this investigation."

Police have arrested dozens of people across the country.

In a Friday news conference, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said the FBI arrested West Virginia Delegate-elect Derrick Evans, who was using Facebook live when he joined rioters at the U.S. Capitol.


"We're in. We're in. Derrick Evans is in the Capitol," Evans can be heard saying in the video.

"This came across, West Virginia Delegate Evans charged federally with entering a restricted area, according to the federal Department of Justice," Justice said.

Evans' lawyer issued a statement to WSAZ-TV in Charleston, W.Va., on Thursday saying he doesn't plan to resign. The attorney, John Bryan, said Evans was there as an amateur journalist.

"Mr. Evans did nothing wrong on January 6, 2021. He was exercising his First Amendment rights to peacefully protest and film a historic and dynamic event. He engaged in no violence, no rioting, no destruction of property and no illegal behavior," Bryan said.

In Illinois, Bradley Rukstales, the CEO of a marketing consulting agency called Cogensia, and David Fitzgerald, a tattoo artist, were arrested. Both were charged with unlawful entry and Rukstales has been put on leave at Cogensia.

Other participants have lost their jobs after showing up in videos and photos posted in the news and on social media. One man was photographed wearing his employee badge in the Capitol and was fired by his employer, Navistar Direct Marketing.


Dallas-area lawyer Paul Davis was fired from Goosehead Insurance after streaming his participation in the riot on Instagram.

The FBI has published dozens of photos of participants, asking for the public's help in identifying and locating them.

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