One of the most eye-catching participants in the Capitol riot last Wednesday, Aaron Mostofsky, has been arrested. Mostofsky stood out wearing fur pelts and carrying a gnarled walking stick during the attack, where he donned a riot police vest and carried a plexiglass police shield. According to a report by The New York Times, he was finally arrested by the FBI.
Mostofsky was one of the first rioters to be identified on social media, as the son of a prominent Brooklyn judge. The FBI reportedly caught up with him at his brother's home in the city, where he was taken into custody. Two people briefed on the arrest spoke to the Times on the condition of anonymity. Additionally, alleged videos of the arrest have been circulating on social media.
BREAKING: Aaron Mostofsky, the son of a NY Supreme Court judge was arrested in Midwood Brooklyn on Tuesday morning for his alleged involvement in the Capitol riot. pic.twitter.com/MweFpdvLkX— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) January 12, 2021
One clip going around shows FBI and state police officers amassed outside of a brick house, with one carrying out fur pelts and a walking stick — much like the ones Mostofsky wore to the riot on Wednesday. The Times also obtained a court filing which showed a message that Mostofsky wrote to an online friend on Wednesday morning, saying: "If we find each other, look for a guy looking like a caveman."
So far, Mostofsky's father, Judge Shlomo Mostofsky, has declined to comment on his son's arrest. Mostofsky was released on $100,000 bail, under strict conditions to ensure he does not flee. He faces at least four charges, the most serious of which is stealing government property, which could land him in prison for up to 10 years. The charge seems to confirm that Mostofsky stole the bullet-proof vest and riot shield he wore from Capitol police.
IDENTIFIED Photo #24— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) January 10, 2021
Aaron Mostofsky—the son of Brooklyn New York Kings County Supreme Court Judge Shlomo Mostofsy (D)pic.twitter.com/wogbfurECN
Mostofsky also faces charges of illegal entry into a restricted area and disorderly conduct. His case is being handled by federal prosecutors in Washington D.C., and he spoke at his first court appearance on Tuesday by phone. His lawyer, Jeffrey T. Schwartz, argued that Mostofsky was "not part of the mob."
"He was not rampaging. He understands how the whole thing in Washington got totally out of hand," Schwartz said. Mostofsky is prohibited from participating in any political rallies or traveling to any state capitols while he remains on release awaiting trial. Even as they try to catch up with all of last week's rioters, federal authorities are tracking many more plans for insurrectionist activity around the U.S. next week, when President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.