Richard Barnett, the domestic terrorist seen in now-infamous photos with his feet up in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office on Wednesday, has finally been arrested in his home state of Arkansas, the Department of Justice said in a news release.
From his feet on Nancy Pelosi's desk to an Arkansas jail. Here's a mug shot of Richard Barnett, who was arrested this morning and is now facing federal charges pic.twitter.com/rpSJ3BvyAm
— Reena Roy (@reenaroy) January 8, 2021
Federal authorities are slowly working their way through images of the terrorist attack on Capitol Hill that took place on Wednesday after allowing most of the rioters to simply walk out of the building right after they killed a Capitol Police officer and destroyed the building.
Barnett became a household name because of his brazenness. He gave his full name and hometown in an interview with The New York Times, and his photo has become an iconic symbol of the lack of preparedness and hapless security at the Capitol Building.
He showed no remorse for the violent attack on Congress, boasting about the things he stole from Pelosi's office right after he walked out of the building.
“I wrote her a nasty note, put my feet up on her desk. I put a quarter on her desk,” Barnett told the newspaper as he walked out of the Capitol Building with no shirt and a letter with Pelosi's name on it.
The newspaper reported that his face was puffy because police had allegedly sprayed him with pepper spray before allowing him to walk out of Pelosi's office without arresting him.
“I said, ‘I paid for this, it’s mine,’ and I left,” he said while joking with other domestic terrorists outside of the desecrated Capitol Building.
“I’ll probably be telling them this is what happened all the way to the D.C. jail,” Barnett added.
Here’s Mr. Barnett, who goes by “Bigo,” telling the story in his own words pic.twitter.com/oSyKiCDXgy
— Matthew Rosenberg (@AllMattNYT) January 6, 2021
In addition to his interview with The New York Times, he spoke openly about his crimes with local news outlet 5News.
"I threw my feet up on the desk at that point. I realized some a**holes had cut me also and I bled on her envelope, so I picked up the envelope and put it in my pocket, and I put a quarter on the desk cause I'm not a thief," Barnett told 5News.
"'Nancy, Bigo was here, you B****. Bigo,'" Barnett said he wrote in his letter to Pelosi. The news outlet later asked the FBI whether Barnett was being investigated due to his participation in the attempted coup.
Yet it took an extra two days for authorities to detain him, astonishing many online who questioned whether Black or Muslim attackers would ever be allowed to do something so brazen and be allowed to go home as nothing happened.
The 60-year-old Gravette, Arkansas native was allowed to turn himself in on Friday and is now facing federal charges of entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent entry and theft of public property.
Pelosi's staff told NBC News her office had been ransacked by the terrorists and many things were stolen, including a laptop, representing an astounding national security threat considering she is third in the line of succession behind Vice President Mike Pence.
On Facebook, Barnett wrote extensively about his passion for white nationalism. Before his accounts were deleted, The Washington Post found dozens of photos of him with members of the Sulphur Springs Police Department.
He also wrote about his willingness to die violently, writing that he “came into this world kicking and screaming, covered in someone else’s blood.”
“I’m not afraid to go out the same way,” he added.
Mayor of Gravette Kurt Maddox said Barnett had brought shame and potential danger to the small town's residents.
“It’s a shame something like this is what puts you in the public eye. This is not the city of Gravette, this one person is not who Gravette is and not who the people are,” Maddox said to local news outlet KNWA, adding that the town is now facing backlash and protests because Barnett's address was posted online.
"This picture has gone viral and has brought the city of Gravette into the spotlight, which is unfortunate. 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 wrote on Facebook.
"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. With all of the challenges 2020 brought to our country, the people of this safe small town have presented themselves with grace and pride. The actions of the one, do not represent the whole."
Charlie Robbins, an official with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Arkansas, told NPR that Barnett is being detained at the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Rep. Steve Womack, the Republican congressman from Barnett's district, sent out a scathing statement about Barnett after it became clear he was from Arkansas.
"I'm sickened to learn that the below actions were perpetrated by a constituent. It's an embarrassment to the people of the Third District and does not reflect our values. He must be held accountable and face the fullest extent of the law," he said. "This isn't the American or Arkansas way."
I'm sickened to learn that the below actions were perpetrated by a constituent. It's an embarrassment to the people of the Third District and does not reflect our values. He must be held accountable and face the fullest extent of the law. This isn't the American or Arkansas way. https://t.co/kSsA6LxdM8
— Rep. Steve Womack (@rep_stevewomack) January 7, 2021
The FBI has called for the public to help them find people who ransacked the Capitol Building and kill a Capitol Police officer. More than 50 of the insurgents involved in the attack have been arrested but hundreds were seen streaming into the halls of Congress with guns, pipe bombs, and Molotov cocktails, according to the FBI.