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Rioter Pictured Lounging In Pelosi’s Office Claims He Was ‘Looking For A Bathroom’ After He’s ID’d

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

UPDATE: see the end of this article for breaking news

It may end up being one of the most indelible images of yesterday’s violent insurrection at the Capitol building—a photo that will be instantly identifiable to future generations. A man with a white beard reclined in Nancy Pelosi’s office, his boots up on her assistant’s desk.

But perhaps it shouldn’t be, because he was just looking for a bathroom, you see. No sedition here.

That’s the story the man is telling, anyway, now that he’s been identified by a news station in his hometown.

The man has been identified as Richard Barnett, also known by his nickname, “Bigo.”

Barnett gave an interview to 5News in the Fort Smith/Fayetteville area of Arkansas. Barnett is from the nearby town of Gravette.

Speaking with 5News, Barnett explained he just happened upon Pelosi’s office while searching for a bathroom.

“As I’m looking for the bathroom I walk by and there’s doors open to offices. I looked in and saw… it was Nancy Pelosi’s office.”

Barnett then told 5News he considers himself to be the rightful owner of what he thought was Pelosi’s desk (the desk is her assistant’s) because he’s a tax-payer.

“So I sat down there at MY desk. I’m a tax-payer.”

“I’m a patriot, that ain’t her desk! We loaned her that desk!”

“And she ain’t appreciating the desk so I thought I’d sit down and appreciate the desk.”

Barnett was the subject of a second viral image yesterday as well—a photograph of him holding a piece of Pelosi’s mail he’d taken out of the Capitol—a federal felony.

Barnett explained he took it because he bled on it following an injury presumably sustained while vandalizing the Capitol building.

But he insisted it wasn’t theft because he left a quarter in its place, presumably to pay for the postage.

“I put a quarter on the desk, cuz I’m not a thief.”

“She ain’t worth a quarter, but I paid for the envelope, I didn’t steal anything or tear anything up.”

“Cuz we don’t do that, we’re patriots.”

Barnett admitted to 5News he is likely to face legal repercussions, but said he wasn’t worried about the outcome since he ended up in the Capitol by accident.

“I didn’t do anything. I didn’t breach the doors!”

“I got shoved in! I didn’t even mean to be in there!”

“Hell, I was just walking around looking for a bathroom!”

On Twitter, people were definitely not buying his story.

As for the violence and vandalism that erupted at the Capitol—which resulted in four deaths—Barnett characterized the incident as “peacefully protesting.”


According to a Department of Justice official, Richard Barnett, 60, of Gravette, Arkansas was taken into federal custody in his home state on Friday. He faces federal charges of entering and remaining on restricted grounds, violent entry and theft of public property.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.