Great Britain

Pro-Trump troll charged with assault for deliberately causing epileptic journalist’s seizure by sending strobe gif

A TRUMP-supporting troll has been charged with assault for deliberately causing an epileptic journalist's seizure by sending a strobe gif.

John Rayne Rivello, 32, from Maryland, is accused of aggravated assault with a weapon.

Kurt Eichenwald, who was written for The New York Times, received the GIF tweet on December 15 2016, after he criticised Donald Trump on social media.

Then a tweet from the Twitter account @jew_goldstein included a strobe light-pattern, with the words: "You deserve a seizure for your posts."

The flashing pattern caused the him to suffer an eight-minute epileptic seizure that he claims would've killed him.

He was found by his wife convulsing on the floor.

I hope this sends him into a seizure

Rivello on Twitter

She immediately called 911 and told Rivello from his account: "@jew_goldstein This is his wife, you caused a seizure.

"I have your information and have called the police to report the assault."

Rivello was arrested after a long investigation that required Twitter to hand over his account information.

Court documents show Rivello had sent direct messages to other users, suggesting he will cause the journalist harm.

In one message he said: "I hope this sends him into a seizure."

Another read: "Let's see if he dies."

Eichenwald's lawyer said in court documents: "Just like a terrorist who mails a bomb, or an envelope filled with anthrax, Mr Rivello knew and intended his Twitter message with a flashing strobe light would cause serious harm and perhaps even death to Mr Eichenwald."

The Epilepsy Foundation said it has filed formal criminal complaints outlining a series attacks on its Twitter feed designed to trigger seizures in people with epilepsy.

Rivello is set to appear in court on January 31 2020. 

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