Rioter photographed hanging on Congress wall claims he was telling others to respect ‘sacred ground’

·3 min read
<p>Protestor part of pro-Trump mob hanging from the balcony says he urged for calm</p> (Getty Images)

Protestor part of pro-Trump mob hanging from the balcony says he urged for calm

(Getty Images)

A man who was seen hanging on to the wall of the Senate balcony during the Wednesday siege of the Capitol and sat on a seat reserved for vice president Mike Pence, has said he was urging his companions to respect the “sacred place.”

Josiah Colt, who was allegedly part of the pro-Trump mob that attacked the Capitol, belongs to Boise, Idaho, according to the local KBOI-TV. He was updating videos on his social media handles from inside the premise and claimed to be the first person to enter the Senate chamber.

Now expected to be facing charges like many others in the mob, Mr Colt told KBOI-TV that he is in consultation with his attorney.

Talking about his motive behind joining the crowd that stormed the Capitol, he told the channel that he got “caught up in the moment”.

“I love America, I love the people, I didn’t hurt anyone and I didn’t cause any damage in the Chamber. I got caught up in the moment and when I saw the door to the Chamber open, I walked in, hopped down, and sat on the chair. I said my piece then I helped a gentleman get to safety that was injured then left,” said Mr Colt.

Thousands of rioters, who were earlier egged on by Mr Trump at a rally, stormed into the Capitol on Wednesday as Congress was tallying the electoral college votes to confirm president-elect Joe Biden’s victory, sparking clashes, chaos and destruction that ensued for hours.

Photos and videos after the building was evacuated showed rioters looting the building, vandalising offices and flipping tables.

Mr Colt also said several people wanted to steal things and destroy the place. He says: “While in the Chamber I told the other protesters that this is a sacred place and not to not do any damage. Some of them wanted to trash the place and steal stuff but I told them not to and to leave everything in it’s place. We’re still on sacred ground.”

He also stated an apology to Americans, attributing his actions to the heat of the moment. “And I sincerely apologise to the American people. I recognise my actions that have brought shame upon myself, my family, my friends, and my beautiful country. In the moment I thought I was doing the right thing. I realise now that my actions were inappropriate and I beg for forgiveness from America and my home state of Idaho. My intention wasn’t to put a stain on our great country’s democratic process,” he said.

A video attributed to him was reposted several times by other users, where a breathless Mr Colt can be seen in the Capitol premise claiming he was the first person to enter the Senate chamber.

“I just got in the Capitol building, I hopped down into the chamber.” Then he goes on to say he was in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s chair. However, his claim was wrong as pictures showed him sitting in the Senate chamber on a seat reserved for Mr Pence.

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