Twitter Troll Arrested For Sending Seizure-Inducing Tweet to Journalist With Epilepsy

FBI arrested 29-year-old John Rayne Rivello on a federal cyberstalking charge on Friday

Last Updated: March 18, 2017 @ 11:31 AM

The FBI has arrested the man accused of sending Dallas reporter Kurt Eichenwald a tweet that triggered an epileptic seizure.

John Rayne Rivello, 29, of Salisbury, Maryland, was arrested Friday morning on a cyberstalking charge, the agency said in a statement.

Eichenwald, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a senior writer at Newsweek, first said in December that a Twitter troll sent him a flashing video with the message, “you deserve a seizure,” which triggered an epileptic episode.

Friday, Eichenwald confirmed the chain of events on Twitter, writing that the man who “assaulted” him also is expected to be indicted by the Dallas district attorney on different charges.

Read the full press release below from the Department of Justice:

Eichenwald’s attorney, Steven Liberman, told Newsweek, “What Mr. Rivello did with his Twitter message was no different from someone sending a bomb in the mail or sending an envelope filled with anthrax spores. It wasn’t the content of the communication that was intended to persuade somebody or make them feel badly about themselves; this was an electronic communication that was designed to have a physical effect.”

Eichenwald received the tweet after appearing on Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight, where he and the host argued about each other’s biases and Eichenwald’s coverage of Donald Trump during the presidential campaign.

According to a criminal complaint, messages sent from Rivello’s Twitter account mentioned Eichenwald, saying “I know he has epilepsy,” “I hope this sends him into a seizure” and “let’s see if he dies.”

Eichenwald has also said that more than 40 people strobes once they found out that they could trigger seizures, and insisted it must stop.