A retired Chicago firefighter, misidentified by the Twitter mob as being a man who used a fire extinguisher to attack a cop at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, has been targeted with threats and people calling him a terrorist.
Twitter at first publicized photos of the alleged perpetrator:
This is the individual the FBI is seeking as a person of interest in connection with the murder of the Capitol Hill police officer.
Twitter, do your thing. pic.twitter.com/KUKliu9zhp
— Political Southpaw (@DahlELama2) January 11, 2021
But later more details emerged:
We need to RESPONSIBLY find the person of interest.
Let the authorities make the call on positive IDs.
Our job is to provide tips to the investigators.
Leave the actual law enforcement work to the actual law enforcement professionals.https://t.co/y49wKYD7vC
— Political Southpaw (@DahlELama2) January 13, 2021
After the false claims he was involved in the riot, David Quintavalle received angry calls calling him a “fucking murderer,” TV crews staked out his house & police dispatched a patrol car to keep watch.
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) January 14, 2021
David Quinavalle was nowhere near the U.S. Capitol on January 6. He went grocery shopping in the morning and cooked supper for his wife’s birthday that evening, where they were joined by their son, a police officer. He only discovered the Twitter mob was after him when a friend alerted him.
Quinavalle said, “I got a phone call from a friend who said, ‘You should see what they twittered about you,’ adding, ‘Some woman from British Columbia showed the [surveillance] picture of the guy wearing CFD stocking cap and a beard like I’ve had, and file footage when I was protesting the city inappropriately scoring the fire lieutenants exam, and said, ‘This is the guy.’ And the ball started rolling. Everybody started saying, ‘Here’s the guy.’”
“Soon, social media filled with details about Quintavalle’s personal life, including his appearance at a ‘Walk To Support CPD’ rally in Mount Greenwood in August to support his namesake son, an Englewood District police officer who still lives at home,” Patch reported. “… By Tuesday night, Quintavalle began getting angry calls from people saying he’s a ‘f***ing murderer’ who belongs in jail. TV news reporters had staked out his house. Chicago police dispatched a patrol car to keep watch overnight, as well, his lawyer said.”
One person wrote on Twitter, “I am amazed at the number of bots with practically no followers coming out of the woodwork saying it’s not David Quintavalle.” Another added, “And his son is a cop. If David Quintavalle is the guy — a retired fire fighter who threw a fire extinguisher at a cop — the irony would be just too much.”
Quintavalle said, “This story has f***ed my life up.”
Quintaville’s attorney, John Nisivaco, told Patch he gave the DOJ and FBI evidence proving Quintaville was in Chicago on January 6. He stated:
I expect the federal government will soon shed light on this case of mistaken identity. Social media has killed David Quintavalle. This has been an absolute disaster to him personally and his family. There’s a cop car outside his house. It’s over a picture that kind of looks like him because people sitting behind a keyboard with no proof or evidence are throwing out these tweets, and they’re wrong. Holy smokes, it’s eye-opening how terrifying social media can be when something like this happens.
As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the FBI announced Thursday that a retired Pennsylvania firefighter, Robert Sanford, 55, was arrested and now faces three felony charges, including assaulting an officer, for allegedly throwing a fire extinguisher at a Capitol police officer. “The projectile he is accused of throwing was not the one that killed Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was also struck in the head by a fire extinguisher during the melee and later died from his injuries, authorities said,” the outlet notes.
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