Mayor of Gravette addresses public after photo of man in Nancy Pelosi’s office goes viral

KNWA

Photos of Richard Barnett have been shared all over social media and it's resulted in threatening phone calls to city leaders and people becoming worried for their own safety

GRAVETTE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – UPDATE:


ORIGINAL: Tonight city leaders gathered at the Civic Center in Gravette for a meeting that was scheduled before Wednesday’s events at the Capitol, however, that didn’t stop some people from sharing their concerns about Richard Barnett’s actions in D.C.

Richard Barnett, a supporter of US President Donald Trump sits inside the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he protests inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. – Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

“All the citizens of Gravette, we’re just really worried because of one other person’s actions,” resident Joseph Cowan said. “We don’t want to see our city get attacked.”

A message Cowan told city leaders during Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

“Gravette is just a really small community, we are a bunch of good people [and] we just had that one spoiled egg I guess who caused a lot of trouble for Gravette now,” Cowan said.

He’s referring to Barnett, the man seen sitting in Nancy Pelosi’s office during Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.

A supporter of US President Donald Trump sits inside the office of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he protest inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021. – Demonstrators breeched security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)


Mayor of Gravette Kurt Maddox said Barnett used to live in the city but now lives outside city limits. He says the city does not condone Barnett’s actions.

“It’s a shame something like this is what puts you in the public eye,” Mayor Maddox said. “This is not the city of Gravette, this one person is not who Gravette is and not who the people are.” 

Still, he says they’ve received threatening phone calls and even heard of people posting an address that Barnett doesn’t live at but is a home for someone else.

“There is a heightened police presence, all of our officers are on call and we have extra patrols in areas where people have requested it,” Mayor Maddox said. “There has been a couple of businesses that decided to keep their buildings locked down today and maybe tomorrow just to be safe and have appointments only.”

Mayor Maddox said Gravette Police and the Benton County Sheriff’s Department are working with the FBI to get in touch with Barnett.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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