UPDATED: Boise man apologizes for storming Senate floor
Audrey Dutton and Jacob Scholl, Idaho Statesman
Published at | Updated at
Editor’s note: The video included in the body of this story contains strong language. Viewer discretion advised.
BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — Amid the chaos that ensued Wednesday in Washington, D.C., many photos and videos emerged of rioters entering the U.S. Capitol and storming into both chambers of Congress.
For some in Idaho, they saw a familiar face climbing down from the U.S. Senate Chamber gallery and onto the Senate floor — a 34-year-old man named Josiah Colt, who resides in the Treasure Valley.
Phone numbers listed for Colt for comment on this story went unanswered as of Thursday morning. Attempts to reach him through social media and email were also unsuccessful.
In a video posted to Facebook and circulated widely on other social media platforms like YouTube, Colt erroneously claims he was the first rioter to sit in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s chair, calling her treasonous and a traitor. Colt actually was in the Senate chamber and was photographed in the seat reserved for the vice president.
“I just got in the Capitol building,” he says in the video. “I hopped down into the chamber.”
Later, he posted a video on Facebook stating he didn’t know what to do now that the photo of him had been widely circulated.
“I’m in downtown D.C.,” he said in the video. “I’m all over the news now. But, like, I’m just like every single one of those people that was marching. A peaceful protest, we’re here to represent America … we’re tired of being lied to. We’re tired of people stealing from us, stealing our freedoms, stealing our liberties. I didn’t hurt anybody in there. Like, yeah, I did sit in Nancy Pelosi’s seat. She shouldn’t be there.”
Following the riots that engulfed the Nation’s Capitol, Colt issued a statement to Boise’s CBS2 News. He apologized for his actions and called the Senate Chamber “sacred ground.”
“[I] sincerely apologize to the American people,” Colt said in the statement. “I recognize 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 realize now that my actions were inappropriate and I beg for forgiveness from America and my home state of Idaho.”
Josiah Colt is listed with a Meridian address on business filings for a company called Funnel Craft LLC. Colt is named as CEO of FunnelCraft.co on the company’s website, which lists a Boise address. Colt’s LinkedIn profile shows a job history in digital marketing and advertising, a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and volunteer work for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America as “a positive role model and example for the troubled youth.”
Colt has been active on several social media platforms — with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube — but the two accounts he used most actively this week were deleted late Wednesday night.
Before the accounts disappeared, they showed Colt sharing conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine, and equating pandemic mandates with Nazi Germany.
“America needs to realize the people are in charge and unconstitutional government has gotten out of hand trying to enforce ‘laws’ it makes up at a whim,” Colt wrote Dec. 15. “This is America and not this authority/fear police state that the left wants everyone to cower to.”
He and a friend planned to travel to Washington, D.C., to protest the election results, according to posts on social media. The friend posted on Facebook asking for donations to a GoFundMe, saying they had already booked and paid for the trip.
“It’s time to fight for the freedom of this country from getting bulldozed by the domestic terrorists in office pushing Chinese communist agendas and ideology while stripping our freedoms away one by one,” Colt said in a comment on that Facebook post. “Now is the time to fight.”
As of Thursday morning, Colt was not in the custody at the D.C. Jail, according to jail staff. According to Reuters, the Metropolitan Police Department arrested 52 people related to the chaos in and around the Capitol as of Wednesday night. Many arrests related to violations of the D.C. mayor’s 6 p.m. curfew, and “several others were arrested on charges relating to carrying unlicensed or prohibited firearms,” according to the news agency.
Metropolitan police released a list of individuals arrested during Wednesday’s riot, which did not list Colt as someone taken into police custody. However, police also released a list of photos consisting of “persons of interest” which included a photo of Colt climbing down onto the Senate floor.
The FBI is actively seeking information, including tips, photos and videos, about people who participated in the riot.