CHICAGO — A retired Chicago firefighter whose name was dragged across the internet, is speaking exclusively with WGN News in a sit-down interview.
David Quintavalle has had a horrific week after he was wrongly accused of participating in the Capitol riot, and fatally wounding a police officer.
Quintavalle received threatening messages and his family had Chicago police officers parked outside their home for protection.
All this after a trial by Twitter.
As news of an insurrection at the Capitol broke, Quintavalle, a retired firefighter from Mount Greenwood, was getting groceries and planning a birthday meal for his wife.
Some 700 miles away, Robert Sanford, a retired firefighter from Chester, Pennsylvania, was part of the crowd storming the Capitol building.
The Wall Street Journal reports Sanford faces three federal felony charges, including assaulting a police officer, after allegedly throwing a fire extinguisher that hit three police officers at the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol.
As Sanford’s picture started doing the rounds online, some internet detectives began to speculate. Some on Twitter wrongly named Quintavalle as Sanford, and wrongly accused Sanford as killing an officer.
Quintavalle described to WGN News the toll all of this has taken on his life.
“I would say an apology is not enough. How would you feel if I said to you, you resemble a serial killer? So by the way, I’m going to post that and say you are the serial killer. The harm does not stop when they catch the guy. The damage has already been done,” Quintavalle told WGN News.
Quintavalle also offered his deepest condolences to the family of the police officer who lost his life during the riots. His own son is a police officer, and said news like that is something every officer’s family dreads.