Florida man pictured carrying lectern at US Capitol riot arrested, charged


PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office inmate search shows that the man seen carrying a lectern through the U.S. Capitol during a riot Wednesday has been arrested.

The man smiling and waving at the camera has been identified as 36-year-old Adam Johnson of Parrish in Manatee County. Johnson was charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; one count of theft of government property; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Johnson was arrested yesterday and is currently in custody, according to documents from the Department of Justice.

NewsNation affiliate WFLA has learned Johnson is married to a local physician and is a father of five.

The arrest report says Johnson was booked in the Pinellas County Jail around 9 p.m. Friday. He remains there on a US Marshal warrant.

The photograph from Wednesday shows Johnson in a red, white, and blue Trump beanie carrying what is believed to be the lectern of the U.S. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

Johnson is a registered voter in Manatee County with no party affiliation. The Supervisor of Elections in Manatee County says Johnson voted in two general elections — 2004 and 2020.

No one answered the door when WFLA stopped by his home in the Harrison Ranch subdivision Friday. In the early afternoon, two men put on face masks before knocking and entering Johnson’s home.

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Allan Mestel is acquaintances with Johnson and notified the FBI after recognizing Johnson in the photo.

“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 adding. “Couldn’t believe it, the fact that I recognize somebody from our hometown, was, I was floored.”

NewsNation affilate WFLA spoke with a criminal law expert about the charges someone who charged the Capitol Building could be facing.

“These are burglars, they are insurrectionists, they have committed thefts and armed offenses, threatened congress members, they are looking at the type of charges that could get them decades if not the remainder of their life in prison,” Jeffrey Swartz said.

On Thursday, the FBI appealed for information from the public to help them identify more protesters who engaged in the rioting.

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