Washington DC-area police identified a suspect from the riot at the US Capitol after the man was thrown off a Delta flight for chanting “Trump 2020!”
The individual, John Lolos, first came to police attention two days after the attack in Washington, after he was thrown off a Delta flight out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on 8 January for chanting pro-Trump slogans, according to an affidavit from the US Capitol Police first reported by Washingtonian.
“Lolos was a passenger and was disturbing other passengers on the airplane by continuously yelling “Trump 2020!” the court document reads. “Due to the continuing disturbance, the flight crew decided to turn the airplane around and go back to the gate in order to escort Lolos off of the flight.”
As the man waited at the gate for a new flight, an airport police officer only identified as “Officer Braddock” recognized Mr Lolos, whom he believed matched a man he saw in a video on his personal Instagram feed waving a flag among the group looting the Capitol.
Officer Braddock then alerted a detachment of US Capitol Police inside the airport at the time, who detained Mr Lolos and searched through his property.
“While inventorying Lolos’s property during his arrest, your affiant discovered the same United States flag and red “Trump 2020 Keep America Great” flag, still hooked together,” the document continues.
Mr Lolos is charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
The chaos at the Capitol has migrated to airports more than once since the attack. Several passengers allege they were kicked off Delta flights following the riots for being Trump supporters
A Delta spokesperson told The Independent, ““Actions taken to remove unruly customers on flights are based solely on behaviour that affects the safety and security of our operation including noncompliance with instruction from flight crews.”
In another incident, also involving Delta, the airline put a rowdy group of passengers who heckled GOP Senators Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham as “traitors” on the no-fly list.
“We’re all on high alert based on the events over the last couple of weeks in Washington,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian said at the time.
The lucky break at the airport is just the latest way authorities are identifying the hundreds of suspected rioters on their list as they approach filing nearly 100 cases against alleged participants so far. Others, like a Pennsylvania woman who allegedly helped steal a laptop from House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, have been found through tips from exes, bragging social media posts, text messages, and other means.