A man who allegedly sent a tweet to a reporter that triggered a seizure was arrested and charged by the FBI last week and on Monday he was charged with more crimes by the Dallas district attorney.
John Rivello, 29, was arrested Friday by the FBI in connection with sending a strobing GIF in a tweet last December to Dallas-based journalist Kurt Eichenwald, who has epilepsy. He was charged with cyberstalking Friday after Eichenwald suffered a seizure and pursued legal action against the troll.
On Monday, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office filed more charges against Rivello, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to a DA spokeswoman. A hate crime enhancement was added because it appears that Rivello targeted Eichenwald because he is Jewish.
Rivello’s weapon had been a tweet with a flashing GIF that allegedly said, “You deserve a seizure for your post.” (Screenshot below.)
Eichenwald posted Monday about the new charges and shared the indictment document, which details how the GIF and tweet constituted a deadly weapon used on someone susceptible to seizures, that the strobing image is known to trigger seizures, and that it was used for that reason.
Man who triggered my seizure just been charged by Dallas DA with felony assault/ hate crime. This is in addition to federal charges Friday.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) March 20, 2017
The FBI took Rivello into custody in Maryland, where he lives.