TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Wednesday, shortly after rioters stormed Capitol Hill, a photo showing a man carrying a podium quickly went viral.
The man, wearing a Trump beanie, had joined rioters on the House floor after the men and women disrupted a joint session of Congress to formally announce President-elect Joe Biden’s as the winner of the presidential election.
In the photo, the man waves with a smile as he carries out a lectern allegedly belonging to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The podium bears the official seal of the Speaker of the House.
Photos of the man quickly began circulating around social media, with online sleuths finding his Facebook profile in a matter of hours. He was identified as Parrish resident Adam Johnson, the Bradenton Herald reported Thursday. According to the newspaper, the 36-year-old had traveled from Parrish to D.C. and had documented the trip on his Facebook profile. Johnson lives in Parrish with his wife, a doctor, and their five children.
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.
Johnson was one of the more recognizable faces to stand out among the mob that stormed the building Wednesday. A few others grabbed worldwide attention, including a heavily-painted shirtless man wearing a horned fur hat, who was identified as 32-year-old Jake Angeli, QAnon supporter from Arizona.
Police said more than 60 arrests have been made following Wednesday’s violence. Among those facing charges is at least one person from Tampa Bay, Matthew Council of Riverview.
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.
Riots unfolded Wednesday after lawmakers gathered for a joint session that was scheduled to formally announce President-elect Biden as the winner of the presidential race.
President Donald Trump, who for weeks, perpetuated baseless claims about the integrity of the election had encouraged supporters to come to Washington to protest.
Pro-Trump rioters broke through barricades and swarmed Capitol Hill, leaving four people dead and forcing the Senate to evacuate.
Hours later, the building was secured and Congress ratified Biden’s election victory.
Trump on Thursday acknowledged the defeat and said there would be an “orderly transition on Jan. 20.”
LATEST STORIES ON WFLA.COM:
LATEST NEWS FROM WFLA.COM:
- Woman asks for love stories, plans to give away old wedding rings after divorce
- Chocolate recalled after plastic found in products
- Tampa Bay parents concerned after state education leaders send out student performance letters
- Powerball jackpot grows to $730M; Mega Millions to be $850M
- Florida coronavirus: Over 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations administered in the state