News & Politics

Capitol Riot Suspect Arrested in DC Airport After Bizarre Series of Events

John Lolos was kicked off a flight for shouting "Trump 2020!" While he waited for another flight, a cop saw him in an Instagram video.

Photograph by Evy Mages

John Lolos was arrested at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on January 8 after a series of events that would be difficult to believe in a work of fiction. According to an affidavit, Lolos was thrown off a Delta flight out of Washington for repeatedly shouting “Trump 2020!” as the plane was on the tarmac.

Lolos deplaned and waited at a gate for a rebooked flight. While he cooled his heels, an Officer Braddock of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police was alerted to Lolos’s outbursts, the documents read, but didn’t detain him. But! Braddock happened to take a look at his personal Instagram about 45 minutes later, when he watched a video of the Capitol riot by Trump supporters two days before. He saw someone who looked like Lolos wearing the same shirt he was wearing in the airport, waving two flags hooked together: A US flag, and another that read “Trump 2020 Keep America Great!” In the video, the person who looked like Lolos shouted “We did it, yeah!” after another person shouted, “We stopped the vote!”

Braddock shared his discovery with agents from the US Capitol Police’s Dignitary Protection Division, who were in the airport on other business. They detained Lolos in an airport holding room and, while searching his belongings, discovered the flags, which the affidavit states were still hooked together.

Lolos has been charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Read the government’s statement of facts:

John Lolos affidavit by Washingtonian Magazine on Scribd

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.