An arrest has been made three months after someone tweeted a seizure-inducing strobe at writer and Vanity Fair contributing editor Kurt Eichenwald. The Dallas FBI confirmed the arrest to The Verge today and issued a press release with additional details. Eichenwald, who has epilepsy, tweeted details of the arrest and said that more than 40 other people also sent him strobes after he publicized the first attack. Their information is now with the FBI, he says.
He currently faces federal charges & is expected to also be indicted by the Dallas District Attorney on different charges in next few days.— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) March 17, 2017
The suspect, John Rayne Rivello, 29, of Salisbury, Maryland allegedly sent a message to Eichenwald saying, “You deserve a seizure for your post.” That message included the strobe. After pursuing a search warrant, police say they found Twitter direct messages in which Rivello discussed Eichenwald and said he hoped his message would send him into a seizure and that he was waiting to see if the writer dies. He additionally had a screenshot of a Wikipedia page for Eichenwald in which he altered it to say that the victim died on December 16, 2016 (the day after he sent the strobe).
It isn’t clear whether these “different charges” relate to similar online harassment incidents or something else entirely. We’ve reached out to Eichenwald’s lawyer for comment and will update when we hear back. The
This wasn’t the first time Eichenwald was allegedly targeted with a strobe. He claims to have been attacked two other times last year. Eichenwald says that in October, a Trump supporter attempted to induce a seizure by sending him an epileptogenic cartoon. In that case, he says he dropped his iPad before a seizure was triggered.
The most recent attack on Eichenwald followed a spat between his employer, Vanity Fair, and President Trump. After the magazine eviscerated Trump Grill in a review, the president tweeted that the magazine was “dead.”
Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of @VanityFair Magazine. Way down, big trouble, dead! Graydon Carter, no talent, will be out!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2016
Eichenwald extensively covered Trump both during the election season and prior to his political rise.
Update 6:00 PM ET: Updated to account for press release information.