A man with 11 Molotov cocktails at the ready and another who forced his way into the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to put his feet up on a desk were among the arrests announced by federal officials Friday after the Capitol mob riot by Trump-supporting insurrectionists.
Richard Barnett, a Trump supporter who stormed the US Capitol and was pictured sitting at Pelosi’s desk, was also arrested in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The 60-year-old is facing multiple federal charges for his role in a violent attack on the Capitol, including entering restricted grounds, violent entry, and theft of public property, Kohl said in a call with reporters.
Images of Barnett lounging at a desk in Pelosi’s office after he and others overran US Capitol Police and stormed the halls of Congress spread widely on news outlets and social media.
Barnett spoke to the New York Times after he had forced his way into Pelosi’s office, showing items that he had taken from the speaker’s office.
“I wrote her a nasty note, put my feet up on her desk,” he told the Times while holding an envelope he had taken from her desk.
Barnett told the newspaper he had “paid” for the items by leaving a quarter on the desk.
Lonnie Coffman, of Alabama, allegedly drove his pickup truck carrying nearly a dozen Molotov cocktails, two handguns, and an M4 assault rifle just a short distance from where a crowd of Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol, federal officials said.
First Assistant US Attorney Ken Kohl said some of the Molotov cocktails retrieved by law enforcement officials contained gasoline and styrofoam, making them “homemade napalm.”
In court documents, officials said they came upon Coffman’s truck near the vicinity of the Capitol while conducting a security sweep in the area.
It didn’t take much for police to focus on Coffman’s vehicle: US Capitol police found a black handgun sitting on the front passenger seat of Coffman’s red GMC Sierra 1500 truck.
Members of the bomb squad were called to search the vehicle and found one M4 Carbine assault rifle and multiple loaded magazines. In the bed of the truck, under a fabric top, officers found the molotov cocktails made with mason jars, gasoline, rags, and a golf tee inside the jars.
Sometime around 6:30 p.m., Coffman and a female driver approached police to tell them that Coffman was trying to get to Coffman’s pickup truck. Coffman described his vehicle, which had already been searched by police.
Officers asked Coffman for his name and, at some point, the Alabama man asked police if they had found the “bombs,” which officers first thought was in reference to the molotov cocktails, but Coffman was instead referencing two IED devices that had been located by authorities in the area.
Those devices were not connected to Coffman, officials said.
Coffman walked with officers to his car, told them he had a gun in his pants, and officials confirmed the truck he was looking for was the one they had been searching.
On Friday, federal officials announced Barnett and Coffman were two of 15 cases that have been filed so far against people who stormed the Capitol building. Thirteen of those cases were disclosed Friday. The remainder remain under seal, officials said.
They again vowed to continue to pursue charges against others in the massive crowd.
“We’ll spare no resources to hold all of these people accountable, and it’s going to be something we continue to work on in the coming hours, days, and weeks,” said Kohl.
Members of Congress were forced to flee and were escorted to secure rooms during the violent attack, where five people died, including a US Capitol Police officer and a Trump supporter who was shot by police.
About 11 other federal cases remain under seal, but Kohl said more information would be released.
“The rioting and destruction that we saw will not be tolerated,” said FBI Assistant Director Steven D’Antuono.