WASHINGTON D.C., DC — An unruly airline passenger was arrested for his involvement in the Capitol Riots after airport police matched him to video taken at the Capitol January 6. Wednesday afternoon, that man will plead guilty to criminal charges stemming from the insurrection.
According to court documents, a Delta flight crew decided to turn their plane around on the tarmac of Ronald Regan National Airport on January 8 and return to the gate because John Lolos, a passenger aboard that flight, would not stop yelling "Trump 2020!”
A Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department officer identified only as “Braddock” responded to the gate and watched Lolos get off the airplane, but according to court records, that officer did not plan on arresting or detaining Lolos.
Delta re-booked Lolos on a later flight. But about 45 minutes later, as Lolos waited at the gate, Braddock was scrolling through his personal Instagram feed and watched a video showing several people exiting a doorway from the East front of the Capitol Building during the insurrection. Court documents say the officer spotted Lolos in the group of rioters, wearing the same shirt he was wearing at the airport, holding a “Trump 2020 Keep America Great” flag hooked with an American flag.
The Department of Justice said after an unknown individual yelled, "we stopped the vote!" Lolos can be heard on the video yelling "we did it, yeah!"
After Braddock watched the video and realized Lolos was the same person sitting in front of him at the gate, the officer alerted United States Capitol Police Dignitary Protection Division Agents (DPD) who were at Regan National Airport for other assignments. DPD agents arrived, told Lolos he was being detained and took him to a holding room at the airport. The United States Capitol Police Investigation Division were alerted, arrived and arrested Lolos.
Court documents say while inventorying Lolos' property during his arrest, investigators found the same red "Trump 2020 Keep America Great" flag still hooked together with the American flag, the same flags that Lolos can be seen holding on video while exiting Capitol building, prosecutors say.
On Wednesday, Lolos appeared before U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta to enter a plea of guilty to one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building. In exchange, the government agreed to drop the remaining counts against him.
After a bumpy hearing in which Lolos repeatedly questioned elements of the agreement – and at one point tried to add a new section in, prompting the DOJ to threaten to drop the offer and take him to trial – Lolos eventually did tell Mehta that he was pleading guilty to the charge.
Lolos faces up to 6 months in prison and has agreed to pay $500 in restitution to the government. He was scheduled for a sentencing hearing on November 19 at 2 p.m.