FBI in communication with Manatee authorities regarding man pictured carrying lectern during riot at U.S. Capitol

Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA)- Officials with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office say they’ve been in communication with the FBI in reference to the man captured on camera carrying a lectern through the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.

The man smiling and waving at the camera has been identified as 36-year-old Adam Johnson of Parrish. 8 On Your Side has learned Johnson is married to a local physician and is a father of five.

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.

8 On Your Side has made multiple attempts to speak with Johnson and his relatives. We haven’t received calls back.

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 we stopped by his Parrish home in the Harrison Ranch subdivision Friday. In the early afternoon, two men put on face masks before knocking and entering Johnson’s home.

Johnson was not identified by authorities as one of the dozens of people arrested following Wednesday’s violence. If arrested, he could face felony charges for destruction of property.

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.”

8 On Your Side 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,” said Jeffrey Swartz.

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

“We are accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting or violence in and around the U.S. Capitol on January 6,” an FBI tweet said.

“If you have witnessed unlawful violent actions, we urge you to submit any information, photos, or videos that could be relevant at fbi.gov/USCapitol,” the agency said in another statement.

8 On Your Side spoke with a Bradenton man who said he reported Johnson to the FBI as soon as he recognized him in the photo that has now gone viral. Since that report to the FBI, the local man says he has been contacted by investigators with the field office in D.C. inquiring about Johnson two times.

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