A rioter who was pictured hanging off a Senate Chamber wall during the Capitol siege says he told others to respect the 'sacred ground'

A protester is seen hanging from the balcony in the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. Pro-Trump protesters have entered the U.S. Capitol building after mass demonstrations in the nation's capital.
A protester is seen hanging from the balcony in the Senate Chamber on January 6, 2021. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Related: Pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol, forced Congress into recess

An Idaho man captured in an iconic photo while hanging from a wall in the Capitol building said that he didn't damage property and told others to respect the "sacred ground," CBS 2 Idaho News reported.

The station identified the man, who was dressed in all black, as Josiah Colt. The Boise resident released a statement to the station apologizing, but also trying to defend himself.

"I love America, I love the people, I didn't hurt anyone and I didn't cause any damage in the Chamber," he said in the statement to CBS 2. "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 peace [sic] then I helped a gentlemen get to safety that was injured then left."

Members of the crowd damaged the building, stole government property, and caused mayhem that left four people - three members of the crowd and one Capitol police officer- dead.

The DC Police Department is seeking information on the extremists who were spotted in the violent siege and department data reported on Friday by The Los Angeles Times said at least 82 people had been arrested in the two days following the insurrection.

On Thursday, Colt livestreamed his participation in the breach. While he has since deleted his social media accounts, the videos were captured and continue to be shared on Twitter.

In the video, Colt proudly boasted about being the first one who "got into the Capitol building."

"I was the first one to sit in Nancy Pelosi's [chair] - that b----, she's a traitor," he said.

Colt was actually sitting in the Senate Chamber in a seat designated for Vice President Mike Pence, the Idaho Statesman reported.

While in the chamber with other rioters, Colt said he warned them they were on "sacred ground."

"While in the Chamber I told the other protesters that this is a sacred place and not to not do any damage," Colt told CBS 2. "Some of them wanted to trash the place and steal stuff but I told them not to and to leave everything in it's [sic] place. We're still on sacred ground."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently seeking information "that will assist in identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence" at the Capitol.

US Attorney for Idaho Bart Davis told the Idaho Press that his office intends to prosecute any crimes committed in the Capitol "if there's a lawful nexus to Idaho jurisdiction."

"I recognize my actions that have brought shame upon myself, my family, my friends, and my beautiful country," Colt said in his statement to CBS 2. "In the moment I thought I was doing the right thing. I realize now that my actions were inappropriate and I beg for forgiveness from America and my home state of Idaho."

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