Dating app match turns in Capitol Riots suspect, authorities say
- Andrew Taake has been prosecuted for attacking police and storming the Capitol
- His arrest came after months-long investigation that was sparked by a tip-off
- Taake appeared in court for the first time on Friday in the Southern District of Texas
Andrew Taake, a Houston resident, has been prosecuted for attacking police and storming the Capitol. His arrest came after months-long investigation that was sparked by a tip-off and a FedEx delivery driver who confirmed his identification to the FBI.
According to a Department of Justice press release, Taake appeared in court for the first time on Friday in the Southern District of Texas.
It all started with a discussion on Bumble, a dating app, as it did with another detained rioter.
Prosecutors have alleged that while in Washington on January 6, Andrew Taake of Texas utilised the dating app Bumble. When the match inquired if he was near the Capitol, he said that he had been there "from the beginning." He texted many selfies and claimed to have stayed in the building for 30 minutes. Prosecutors claimed Friday in new court documents that the match turned him in to the FBI within days.
Taake told the match he was "peacefully standing there" at the Capitol, according to screenshots from their Bumble discussion. Prosecutors alleged, however, that he was involved in two violent attacks against officers protecting the premises.
According to court documents, footage from the front lines show Taake deploying pepper spray on the police line and then hitting officers with a metal whip.
He's been charged with criminal assault on a police officer, civil disturbance, and obstruction of congressional proceedings, among other federal offences. He hasn't pleaded guilty yet.
He's the second known Capitol defendant to be arrested as a result of a botched online dating scheme. After a Bumble match turned him in, a man from New York was prosecuted in April.
According to one of the screenshots, Taake's dating site stated that he owns a power washing firm in Houston.
The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. was stormed on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, during a riot and violent attack against the US Congress. A crowd of Trump supporters attempted to reverse President Donald Trump's loss in the 2020 presidential election by disrupting a joint session of Congress that was convened to tally electoral votes and formally certify President-elect Joe Biden's win.
The Capitol Complex was shut down, and legislators and employees were evacuated for several hours while rioters invaded and damaged the facility. One person was shot by Capitol Police, one died of a heroin overdose, and three died of natural causes soon before, during, or after the event. More than 140 people were injured.