John Rivello, the Twitter user who allegedly sent a tweet that caused a journalist to have a seizure, was charged by the Dallas District Attorney Monday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The felony assault charge comes with a hate crime enhancement.
The Maryland man was arrested by the FBI Friday for allegedly sending an animated image, also known as a GIF, to Newsweek writer Kurt Eichenwald in December which said, “you deserve a seizure.”
Eichenwald’s wife subsequently tweeted that the GIF had indeed caused Eichenwald to have a seizure. The federal criminal complaint says that a direct message from Rivello’s alleged account, “Ari Goldstein” or “@jew_goldstein,” to another account said he hopes that the GIF “sends” Eichenwald “into a seizure.”
The FBI located Rivello through an Apple iCloud account associated with a phone number he used to sign up for Twitter. The iCloud account included a photo of Rivello posing with his driver’s license, the complaint says.