Man caught on camera carrying Pelosi's lectern during US Capitol riots arrested in Florida

John L. Dorman
Trump riot2
A pro-Trump rioter carries the lectern of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi through the Rotunda of the Capitol. Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • A man who was photographed carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's lectern during the Capitol Hill riot on Wednesday has been arrested, according to Tampa-based NBC affiliate WFLA-TV.

  • The man, identified as Adam Christian Johnson, was booked in Pinellas County, Florida, on Friday night, and remains in jail on a warrant from the US Marshal's office.

  • "It was almost like, it was surreal," Allan Mestel, an acquaintance of Johnson, told WFLA. "I mean it was surreal. I wasn't surprised, but I was shocked."

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A grinning man who was photographed carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's lectern during the Capitol Hill riot on Wednesday has been arrested in Florida, according to Tampa-based NBC affiliate WFLA-TV.

The man, identified as Adam Christian Johnson, was booked in Pinellas County, Florida, on Friday night, and remains in jail on a warrant from the US Marshal's office. He is currently awaiting trial.

The 36-year-old resident of Parrish in Manatee County, Florida, was identified after his photo taken in the Capitol rotunda spread across the internet.

Allan Mestel, an acquaintance of Johnson, contacted the FBI after recognizing Johnson in the viral image.

"I felt a little disassociated for a minute," he told WFLA. "It was almost like, it was surreal. I mean it was surreal. I wasn't surprised, but I was shocked.

He added: "Couldn't believe it, the fact that I recognize somebody from our hometown."

Read more: President-elect Biden expressed confidence his inauguration will be safe. A few hours later, Twitter warned there's talk of another DC Capitol attack on January 17th.

Johnson is a registered voter in Manatee County and lists no party affiliation, with local election records also reported by the outlet showing he voted in the 2004 and 2020 general elections.

According to the Miami Herald, Johnson shared on social media that he would be in Washington, DC, and denigrated the Black Lives Matter movement.

On Thursday, the FBI announced they were looking for Johnson for other rioters who broke into the Capitol on Wednesday, in what was the most significant breach of the historic government building since 1814.

The rioters, sympathetic to President Donald Trump's debunked grievances concerning voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, were aiming to stop the Electoral College certification of President-elect Joe Biden's win but were unsuccessful. After the building was cleared, Congress reconvened and Biden's win was later certified.

Five people died during the violent rioting spree, including a US Capitol police officer, and roughly 69 arrests had been made in connection to the siege as of Friday.

On Friday, the Department of Justice announced charges against 13 people in relation to the riot.

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