His potential date wrote back: “We are not a match.” Then, the Bumble user contacted the police.
Thanks to the tip, Chapman was arrested by the FBI on Thursday and charged with trespassing at the U.S. Capitol and disrupting official government operations by allegedly participating in the deadly riot. Chapman had also bragged on Facebook about being in the insurrection, the FBI said — and even changed his profile picture to a selfie in the riot.
The Carmel, N.Y., resident is one of hundreds facing criminal charges for forcing their way into the Capitol as part of a pro-Trump mob intending to prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 election results.
He’s not the first accused of talking about his participation in the riot on a dating app. A little more than a week after the insurrection, apps including Bumble, Tinder and Match began banning users who shared images from the riot. Some online sleuths also swiped through the apps looking for people who said they had stormed the Capitol, documented the incriminating admissions and photos, and then forwarded the evidence to the FBI.
The case against Chapman started with his failed dating attempt on Bumble, the FBI said in court records filed Thursday.
The Bumble user, who isn’t identified in court documents, shared a screenshot of Chapman’s messages with law enforcement officials on Jan. 13. A criminal complaint included images of the chat, in which Chapman also bragged about talking to national reporters about joining the mob.
When the Bumble user rejected Chapman and told him they were “not a match,” he replied: “I suppose not.”
After getting the tip, the FBI agent reviewed body camera footage recorded by D.C. police on Jan. 6. The video showed Chapman standing inside Statuary Hall using his cellphone camera to record the crowd, according to court records.
Screenshots of the video filed as evidence show Chapman, with distinctive thick sideburns and wearing a black-and-white bandanna across his brow, surrounded by other protesters inside the Capitol.
Investigators also scoured Facebook for evidence. They found a woman had posted a photo of Chapman, in the same bandanna, smiling for a selfie inside Statuary Hall.
“My Dear friend and Brostar Robert made it in the Capitol building at the protest yesterday,” the woman wrote, according to a screenshot of the post filed in court records. “Wooo Hooooooooo!!!!”
Some people commented on the post criticizing Chapman’s actions, calling them “disgusting” and “illegal.”
A Facebook account the FBI tied to Chapman replied in the comments on that photo, calling the critics “trolls” and “keyboard warriors who don’t do a f----- thing.”
The Facebook account tied to Chapman also published a post on Jan. 6 that said “I’M F----- INSIDE THE CRAPITOL!!!”
Chapman also changed his profile picture to a selfie of him standing in front of a painting inside the Capitol and shared a photo of himself flashing a peace sign inside Statuary Hall, according to investigators. In yet another photo shared on Facebook, Chapman posed for a selfie that showed the painted ceiling of the Capitol Rotunda’s dome.
WNBC reported that Chapman had a virtual court hearing on Thursday. He was released on his own recognizance.