‘I had fun’: Duluth man arrested in Jan. 6 riot

Jonathan Davis Laurens of Duluth, seen in this selfie posted to social media, is accused of participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. He faces multiple misdemeanor charges.

caption arrowCaption
Jonathan Davis Laurens of Duluth, seen in this selfie posted to social media, is accused of participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. He faces multiple misdemeanor charges.

Rioters charged in Capitol breach now include 14 Georgians.

When Duluth resident Jonathan Davis Laurens published Facebook updates and photos from inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, not all of his friends were impressed.

“You and everyone there today should be ashamed of yourselves,” one person commented. “You are now a proud member of an elite club of historic losers.”

But Laurens, 38, defended his alleged part in the riot by a pro-Trump mob saying he merely “walked around, chanted some slogans and stuff” and wasn’t part the group that damaged the Capitol.

“All in all, I had fun!” he wrote. “Lol.”

Months passed, but this week Laurens became the 14th person with Georgia ties to be arrested in connection with the riot. According to court records, he faces multiple misdemeanor charges related to entering the Capitol, including disorderly conduct. Unlike some Georgians charged, he is not accused of fighting with police or carrying a weapon into the building, both of which are felonies.

The criminal complaint includes photos taken from videos posted to social media showing a man alleged to be Laurens among the throng in the Capitol Crypt and in Statuary Hall. More damning was the selfie Laurens posted to his Facebook profile showing him grinning beneath a famous portrait of George Washington hanging in the Rayburn Reception Room near the House chamber.

Laurens did not immediately respond to telephone messages and emails from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution seeking comment.

Many people accused of participating in the riot deactivated their social media profiles or deleted incriminating posts, but Laurens left up his Jan. 6 Facebook posts. That paid off for FBI agents who viewed the posts more than three months later after receiving multiple tips.

According to court records, Laurens was arrested and charged Wednesday in federal court in Atlanta. He was assigned a federal public defender and allowed out of jail on a personal recognizance bond. As part of the conditions of his bond, Laurens had to remove any firearms from his house and promise to stay away from Washington and other Jan. 6 defendants.

Federal authorities have charged more than 450 people with crimes related to the Capitol riot.

About the Author

Editors' Picks