Fact Check

Did Bumble Dating App Lead to Capitol Riot Suspect's Arrest?

Storming the Capitol? That was a dating deal breaker.

Published Apr 23, 2021

Image Via FBI
Messages on the dating app Bumble led to the arrest of a Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot suspect.

The FBI has been seeking the public's help to identify those involved in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The FBI made hundreds of photographs and videos available on its website, and anyone with information about the people involved in the riot was encouraged to send tips to the agency via its website or phone number: 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-‪800-225-5324).

In April 2021, the FBI announced that it had arrested a man named Robert Chapman on suspicion of trespassing and disorderly conduct on restricted government property. The FBI's arrest warrant notes that a tip from the dating app Bumble led to Chapman's arrest.

NBC News' Daniel Barnes posted on Twitter:

These are genuine pictures taken from the FBI arrest warrant filed in April 2021. In the Bumble screenshot, Chapman states:

"I did storm the capitol. I made it all the way to Statuary Hall!"

Chapman's potential suitor, who was not identified by the FBI, responded on Bumble, "we are not a match."

NBC New York reported:

Another New York man was arrested for his alleged role in the siege at the U.S. Capitol in January after law enforcement learned that he talked about storming the building on social media and a dating app, according to prosecutors.

The FBI arrested Robert Chapman, from the Putnam County town of Carmel, was Thursday in connection with the events of Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. He is charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct on restricted government property.

According to the FBI, its investigation into Chapman opened after it was alerted by this anonymous Bumble user of the above-displayed conversation. Prosecutors then searched social media accounts allegedly belonging to Chapman where they found posts in which he bragged about his involvement in the riot. Prosecutors also found videos and photographs allegedly showing Chapman inside the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Here's one screenshot from Chapman's alleged Facebook page in which he wrote, "I'm fucking inside the Crapitol!!!

In the days following the attack on the Capitol, numerous reports surfaced about people posing as conservatives on dating apps in order to encourage people to talk about their involvement with the riot. Bumble temporarily disabled its political filter in order to stop this behavior. It's unclear if the anonymous Bumble user who alerted the FBI about Chapman had altered his/her profile in order to communicate with Chapman.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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