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The tips started coming in to STATter911 Monday night. People from across the country convinced a man shown on video throwing a fire extinguisher at a group of police officers on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday was a retired Chicago firefighter. After researching the name I realized it would be a hell of a story IF the name verifies. The reason: The man’s son is a police officer and in August dad did a TV interview during a support the police rally. A bit of a contrast to attacking cops in DC.
The problem was — as I discussed with multiple friends currently working in the mainstream news media — is there has been no official confirmation that the retired Chicago firefighter was the fire extinguisher thrower. But it was worth keeping an eye on.
Due to the lack of law enforcement confirmation, I held off posting anything on STATter911 and social media — despite many requests to do so. Instead, I spent the last two days deleting comments and posts from well-meaning, but misguided, readers of my Facebook page who named the retired firefighter. It really heated up yesterday (Tuesday) after a U.S. Senator and other police organizations shared the picture without a name, saying U.S. Capitol Police wanted the unidentified man in connection with the murder of Officer Brian Sicknick. More people wrote and posted they knew the name — the same name I heard from many others.
USCP soon provided guidance to the news media that this unidentified was not directly connected to the murder investigation, but the man pictured was a person of interest in attacks on police officers. Again, no one official was connecting that image to the retired Chicago firefighter whose name was discovered and shared by many Twitter detectives. And there was a good reason officials didn’t connect the two: The man in the picture is not the retired Chicago firefighter.
David Quintavalle has come forward and shown he was not in Washington and provided the receipts to the FBI. To be clear, police and FBI are apparently still looking for the fire extinguisher thrower with the CFD hat. In fact, there’s now new video of the same man throwing a traffic cone at police and calling them “traitors”.
Quintavalle says the events have messed up his life (he used a stronger word). The retired firefighter has received multiple threats. His lawyer is hoping the FBI will soon help clear up this case of mistaken identity. I encourage you to read this entire story from Patch reporter Mark Konkol and keep it in mind before sharing unverified information on Twitter or other social media.
Quintavalle, who shaved his beard before Christmas, told Patch that he wasn’t in Washington D.C. last week. He went grocery shopping at Aldi at 9 a.m. and made a home-cooked supper of filet mignon and lobster to celebrate his wife’s birthday with their Chicago police officer son on the day rioters breached the Capitol.
The next morning, Quintavalle made a trip to Home Depot. A self-proclaimed paperwork hoarder, Quintavalle says he has receipts to prove his whereabouts that his attorney presented with other evidence to the FBI on Wednesday to clear his name.
Urgent, please surface more footage of this unidentified male seen throwing a fire extinguisher at a group of #CapitolPolice.
— John Scott-Railton (@jsrailton) January 11, 2021