Thursday, January 14, 2021

Twitter doxxes wrong man as DC cop-killer

Trolls Wrongly Accused Retired Firefighter Of Capitol Riot Murder | Patch - Mark Konkol: 

January 13, 2021 - "David Quintaville didn't do it. The retired Chicago firefighter from Mount Greenwood — whom social media trolls called a 'terrorist' and accused of fatally wielding a fire extinguisher that killed a cop as a mob of Trump-supporting insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 — was grocery shopping and celebrating his wife's birthday in Chicago, Patch has learned.

"Twitter exploded with unsubstantiated claims Tuesday that Quintavalle — who retired from the fire department in 2016 after 32 years — was the bearded '#extinguisherman' in a surveillance video wearing a 'CFD' stocking cap wanted for questioning and 'soon to be arrested' by the FBI regarding the fatal beating of U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.

"Quintavalle, who shaved his beard before Christmas, told Patch that he wasn't in Washington, D.C., last week. He went grocery shopping at Aldi at 9 a.m. and made a home-cooked supper of filet mignon and lobster to celebrate his wife's birthday with their Chicago police officer son on the day rioters breached the Capitol. The next morning, Quintavalle made a trip to Home Depot. A self-proclaimed paperwork hoarder, Quintavalle says he has receipts to prove his whereabouts that his attorney presented with other evidence to the FBI on Wednesday to clear his name.

"Quintavalle, who doesn't have social media accounts, learned that he had been accused of being a cop-killing terrorist from a Twitter-savvy pal.... '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."'

"The unconfirmed reports quickly spread. Soon, social media filled with details about Quintavalle's personal life.... Unable to find Quintavalle's nonexistent social media feeds, someone dug up a 2017 post written by his estranged brother accusing the retired firefighter of being a 'bum' who fraudulently acquired their mother's home. By Tuesday night, Quintavalle began getting angry calls from people saying he's a 'f------ 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.

"Some folks got ridiculed for tweeting that Quintavalle wasn't 'the guy' and his facial features don't match those of the man wanted for questioning by the FBI. One post claimed that tweets disputing Quintavalle's involvement in the U.S. Capitol insurrection were pushed by trolling Twitter 'bots with practically no followers coming out of the woodwork'.....

"Attorney John Nisivaco told Patch on Wednesday he's presented the FBI and U.S. Justice Department with evidence that Quintavalle isn't the person depicted in the video at the U.S. Capitol. 'I expect the federal government will soon shed light on this case of mistaken identity,' Nisivaco said. '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."

Update: The Patch story has been updated with a paragraph at the end: "On Thursday, the FBI announced a Pennsylvania man was facing three felonies and was accused of throwing a fire extinguisher at a Capitol police officer. Robert Sanford, 55, formerly of the Chester Fire Department, was arrested Thursday morning."

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