Some Capitol riot suspects apologize as consequences sink in

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FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, supporters of President Donald Trump, including Jacob Chansley, right with fur hat, are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol in Washington. Chansley made a written apology from jail, asking for understanding as he was coming to grips with his actions. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

PHOENIX – The helmet-wearing Idaho man photographed dangling by one hand from the Senate’s balcony during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol turned himself in six days later. While buckled in the vehicle delivering him to the Boise jail, Josiah Colt made a video apologizing and expressing shame for storming the building.

Jacob Chansley, the self-described QAnon Shaman who posed for photos on the Senate dais while sporting face paint and a furry hat with horns, also lacks the enthusiasm he once showed for the riot. A month later, he wrote an apology from jail, asking for understanding as he was coming to grips with his actions.

Confronted with compelling video and photographic evidence in court, dozens of rioters have apologized and expressed regret as the consequences of their actions have started to sink in. The ramifications include potential job losses, financial ruin and possible time behind bars.

“This is going to have consequences for these people for the rest of their lives — and it should,” said John Flannery, a former federal prosecutor and Capitol Hill lawyer.

Another possible consequence for Colt and others captured in photographs that went viral before they even left the Capitol building: ignominy beyond their lifetimes as those images make their way into history books.

A lawyer for Dominic Pezzola, who authorities say is a member of the extremist group Proud Boys and broke a Capitol window with a police shield, said in a filing that his client’s incarceration has placed his wife and two children in desperate financial straits.

Several workers at a floor installation business Pezzola manages are also out of work because Pezzola is jailed, attorney Jonathan Zucker wrote in a February filing seeking Pezzola’s release pending trial.

Pezzola, the attorney wrote, was sorry for his actions, which included posting a video giving a triumphant speech inside the Capitol while smoking a “victory” cigar.