Twitter User Who Allegedly Caused Journalist’s Seizure Charged With Assault

Alex Pfeiffer | Daily Caller

With A Deadly Weapon. The felony assault charge comes with a hate crime enhancement.

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.”

twitteruser_small Twitter User Who Allegedly Caused Journalist’s Seizure Charged With Assault Social Media

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.

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  • DrArtaud

    OK, I’m doubting this one. T.V.s flicker, lights strobe as cars ride down the street. If Kurt Eichenwald has a seizure disorder, he’s on medication, which increases the threshold of stimuli that needs to occur for the seizure to be sustained and propagated. Since he admits to having a seizure, his driver license needs suspended for at least 6 months, he’ll need reexamined by his physician at that time to determine if he’s fit to drive.

    There is the likelihood that Kurt was drinking, or using other substances, which for seizure patients is a no no. If this was the case, it’s questionable if Kurt’s disregard for his health condition, or the seizure inducing GIF was really responsible, if he had a seizure at all.

    The other point is latency. If his seizures are triggered so easily, he probably should never drive again. If they are not easily triggered, he merely needed to look away from the image to stop its possible seizure inducing effects, or close his eyes. Are we to assume that Kurt remained riveted on the image knowing its potential? Hardly.

    Something stinks, and I think it’s a combination of Kurt Eichenwald and the idiot that sent him the GIF. As a seizure sufferer myself, temporal lobe, no grand mal type seizures, and running on 4 hours sleep, I sought out these GIFs online, and one YouTube video of them and felt no ill effects. I’ve been tested on an EEG for strobe light induced seizures and had no problems. I do not suggest other seizure patients look at them. But I think my reasoning sound. If he’s so easily induced into seizures, emphatically he should never drive again. If he was drinking or using other substances that reduced his threshold, he’s also liable in his seizure. And knowing that you are strobe inducible, he should have had time to look away or close his eyes.