After an angry mob of Donald Trump supporters attacked the nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021, the vast majority of people who participated in the riot that left five dead were allowed to just…go home. Obviously, this was an extremely disturbing turn of events not just because it underscored the stark difference in how white and Black people are treated by law enforcement in the U.S., but because many of these individuals were armed and clearly all of them were dangerous. But on the positive side, a lot of the rioters were extremely stupid and in their haste to brag about taking part in an insurrection, accidentally outed themselves, leading to their own arrests.
One such individual was Richard Michetti who, according to The Washington Post, “allegedly took a break from the rioting to argue with his ex-girlfriend over text message.” Michetti reportedly sent his ex photos and videos of the mob—i.e. helpful evidence for the feds!—and after boasting that “we stormed the building,” engaged in some ole-fashioned mansplaining we assume is typical of his interactions with women. “If you can’t see the election was stolen you’re a moron,” Michetti wrote, according to court documents. Later that evening, he texted: “This is tyranny. They…told us ‘we rigged the election and there’s nuthin you can do about it’ what do you think should be done?”
And then this happened!
The next day, the woman he had insulted promptly told the FBI that her ex was at the Capitol, handing over to law enforcement the string of texts, photos, and videos he had sent to her.
Michetti, who lives in Ridley Park, Pa., has now been charged with knowingly entering a restricted building, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and obstruction of Congress. If convicted, Michetti, who was arraigned Tuesday in federal court in Philadelphia, faces up to 20 years in prison, reported The Philadelphia Inquirer. Neither Michetti nor his attorney, federal public defender Kathleen Gaughan, immediately responded to a request for comment late Wednesday.
Michetti joins a growing group of rioters who’ve been turned in by ex partners. Last month, Larry Rendall Brock Jr., who was captured in photos wearing tactical gear and toting zip tie handcuffs on the Senate floor, was arrested and charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct after his ex-wife contacted the FBI and told them, “I just [knew] 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 and I recognize his patch.” Not long after, Riley June Williams was charged with, among other things, disorderly conduct on Capitol property with an intent to disturb a session of Congress, after her ex-boyfriend told the FBI that Williams allegedly stole Nancy Pelosi’s laptop and “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.”
Elsewhere, rioters have been reported by family members who’d come to the unfortunate realization they were related to someone who’d participated in an attempt to overthrow the government, while enterprising single people have used dating apps to sleuth out insurrection participants. Per the Post:
Amanda Spataro, a 25-year-old logistics coordinator in Tampa, called it her “civic duty” to swipe through dating apps for men who’d posted incriminating pictures of themselves. On Bumble, she found one man with a picture that seemed likely to have come from the insurrection; his response to a prompt about his “perfect first date” was: “Storming the Capitol.”
“Most people, you think if you’re going to commit a crime, you’re not going to brag about it,” Spataro said in an interview. After swiping right in hopes she could get more information out of him, she said he responded that he did visit the Capitol and sent more pictures as proof. She later contacted the FBI tip line.