Capitol rioters reported to FBI by exes, dating app users: 'We are not a match'

Robert Chapman was arrested after boasting about the Jan. 6 riot on Bumble.

April 29, 2021, 5:01 AM

All's fair in love and war -- and apparently doubly so if you mix them.

Robert Chapman, of Carmel, New York, was arrested April 22 after he boasted on the dating app Bumble that he was part of the group to "storm the Capitol" during the Jan. 6 riot. A woman he connected with curtly replied, "We are not a match," then reported him to authorities, according to court papers.

He's just one of numerous alleged rioters to be outed by potential or former romantic partners. More than 400 people have been arrested for their alleged roles in the insurrection contesting the results of the presidential election.

Robert Chapman is pictured in the Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol in an image contained in a criminal complaint alleging that he participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot in Washington.

The woman who encountered Chapman on Bumble claimed he told her, "I did storm the Capitol and made it all the way to Statuary Hall," court papers state. She reported him to authorities in January, sharing a screenshot of her Bumble conversation with him, according to the complaint.

Investigators reviewed body camera footage of the riot from the Metropolitan Police Department and saw an individual who appeared to be Chapman in Statuary Hall.

The FBI was also informed about his Facebook activity. Court papers stated that a public Facebook profile under the name Robert Erick was believed to be Chapman's, and one post on the page said, I'M F****** INSIDE THE CRAPITOL [sic]!!!" He further posted a photo of himself posing in front of a statue in the Capitol Rotunda, court documents allege.

Chapman was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct on restricted government property for his alleged role in the Capitol siege. He was released on April 22 on his own recognizance and has not yet entered a plea, according to court documents.

Chapman's attorney, Benjamin Gold, did not reply to ABC News' request for comment.

A screen grab from the Bumble dating app shows a conversation with a user identified by authorities as Robert Chapman.

Several dating apps, including Bumble, Tinder and Match, used images circulated from the Capitol grounds to identify and block suspects' accounts starting in January.

"A small amount of users were reported or caught by the Bumble AI and were immediately banned,” a Bumble source told ABC News.

“We always encourage our community to block and report anyone who is acting against our guidelines, and we have already banned users who have used our platform to spread insurrectionist content or who have attempted to organize and incite terrorism,” Bumble said in a statement to the Washington Post. “As always, if someone has or is in the process of committing a potentially criminal act on our platform, we will take the appropriate steps with law enforcement.”

At the same time, social media posts showed that some people purposefully used the apps to "catfish" for Capitol rioters -- changing their political preference to conservative to catch users who boasted about participating in the riot and report them.

Amanda Spataro, a 25-year-old from Tampa, Florida, told the Washington Post she felt it was her "civic duty" to look for rioters on dating apps. She said she found a man on Bumble who had a picture that appeared to come from the insurrection, and in response to a prompt about his "perfect first date" he wrote, "storming the Capitol."

After conversing with him, she said he claimed he visited the Capitol and sent photos as proof. She then contacted the FBI.

Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Samuel Corum/Getty Images, FILE

Several men and women deliberately fished for these suspects on dating apps to report them and shared screenshots of conversations with alleged Capitol rioters on the Instagram page Overheard DC.

Overheard DC posted 25 submissions involving Capitol rioter dating profiles. A representative for the group told ABC News they asked “all original submitters to submit their screenshots to the FBI and report their profiles on dating apps as well.” It’s not clear if any of those reported have been charged.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington D.C. said officials don't keep track of how many suspects have been turned into authorities by their partners or via dating app reports.

Richard Michetti is pictured on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot, in an image being used in a government case against him.

Romantic partners have also played a role in turning over suspects to authorities.

Richard Michetti, of Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, was arrested Feb. 23 after his ex-girlfriend reported him to the FBI, according to court documents.

Michetti texted his ex-girlfriend, who was unnamed in court documents, on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, allegedly peddling conspiracy theories about the presidential election being stolen and describing the protest at the Capitol, according to the Feb. 17 criminal complaint. In one message he reportedly said, "If you can't see the election is stolen you're a moron."

The next day, she reported him to law enforcement, sending over his texts, videos and photos. Michetti faces charges of knowingly entering a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and obstruction of justice/Congress, according to the complaint.

It's not clear if Michetti has entered a plea. His lawyer has not responded to ABC News' request for comment.

Larry Rendall Brock Jr. is pictured in an undated photo released in January 2021 by the Grapevine Police Department in Texas.
Grapevine Police Department via AP

Air Force veteran Larry Rendall Brock, 53, of Grapevine, Texas, was reported to the FBI by his ex-wife after he was photographed in the Senate chamber wearing a "military-style helmet ... a military vest and a patch from his military service" and carrying plastic zip-tie handcuffs, according to court documents.

Authorities say that on Jan. 8, Brock's ex-wife, who had been married to him for 18 years, told the FBI she recognized him in his military gear.

"I just know that when I saw this was happening I was afraid he would be there. I think you already know he was there. It is such a good picture of him, and I recognize his patch," she said, according to the FBI affidavit .

Brock pleaded not guilty in February to all counts, according to court documents.

Riley June Williams is seen in a booking photograph obtained from the Dauphin County Prison in Harrisburg, Penn., Jan. 19, 2021.
Dauphin County Prison via Reuters

Riley June Williams, the woman accused of stealing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop with alleged plans to sell it to Russia, was charged based on information provided by her former boyfriend, according to authorities.

She surrendered to authorities on Jan. 18 and was charged with disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds with intent to disturb a session of Congress.

Her ex told an FBI agent she “intended to send the computer device to a friend in Russia, who then planned to sell the device to SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service,” according to the criminal complaint.

In a January court appearance, Williams' attorney claimed the witness who identified her was an abusive ex-boyfriend from whom she was fleeing. The lawyer also called the accusations “overstated.” The FBI is continuing to investigate claims about the stolen laptop. It's not clear if Williams has entered a plea.

The FBI is still searching for more Capitol rioters. The agency has a website dedicated to photos and videos from Jan. 6 for those who may recognize someone, along with a tipline.

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