- Internet speculators helped identify a Capitol rioter suspected of assaulting police with a relay.
- Justin Jersey, 31, was arrested in Michigan last week and faces six charges related to the attack.
- Investigators noticed an identifying tattoo on Jersey’s middle finger that reads “fuck you”.
A Capitol riot suspect accused of assaulting police officers during the January 6 uprising was arrested last week, partially identified by a University of Michigan sweatshirt and an explicit phrase tattooed on his middle finger.
In a federal indictment, prosecutors said Justin Jersey, 31, of Flint, Michigan, used a relay to assault officers outside the Capitol.
Jersey faces six charges stemming from his alleged involvement in the Capitol siege, including assault, resisting or obstructing officers and inflicting bodily harm, civil disorder and entering and remaining in a restricted building with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
Internet scouts spent months looking for Jersey, who appeared on several photos and videos from the Capitol attack. The online community known as “Sedition Hunters” was nicknamed the mystery man #Fingerman – a term inspired by a highly circulating image of him giving the middle finger to US Capitol police officers during the attack.
To match his graphic hand gesture, the Jersey phrase “fuck you” has been tattooed down his middle finger, which helped investigators eventually confirm his identity, according to the HuffPost. Online detectives found an Instagram photo of Jersey revealing the tattoo on his left finger and matched it with photos of the man swinging a stick at authorities during the siege, the business reported.
While searching for the man in the photos, online investigators also noticed the suspect’s sweatshirt from the University of Michigan, which helped pinpoint his general location, according to the publication.
—Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) December 2, 2021
It told one of the internet searchers who played a role in finding the suspect HuffPost reporter Ryan J. Reilly that Jersey’s alleged identity was sent to the FBI in August, almost a month after the agency released a video asking for the public’s help in identifying the man who was seen attacking officers.
The “Sedition Hunters” community noted that despite Jersey keeping a low profile on social media, his girlfriend posted several photos and updates about the couple’s participation in the siege at the time on her Facebook account, and even tagged Jersey in an online Bulletin.
—Michigan Tea (@MichiganTea) December 2, 2021
The couple participated in the riot along with their friend, Trevor Brown, who was arrested in July, HuffPost reported.
Jersey, who was arrested in Flint on Thursday, was indicted in a replacement indictment naming eight other Capitol insurgents who have already been charged with the assault, including Jeffrey Sabol; Peter Francis Stager; Michael John Lopatic Sr .; Clayton Ray Mullins; Jack Wade Whitton; Logan James Barnhart; Ronald Colton McAbee; and another defendant whose name has been edited.
According to The Detroit News, which was the first to report Jersey’s arrest, the defendant appeared briefly in court Thursday and is being held without restraint until he can be transferred to a federal court in Washington, DC.
Jersey had no current attorney on the list Monday night.
More than 700 people have been charged in connection with the deadly attack, and more than 100 have pleaded guilty.