The Trump-supporting son of a Brooklyn judge who dressed like a caveman to storm the U.S. Capitol last week was arrested in New York on Tuesday, authorities said — and his big mouth did him in.
Aaron Mostofsky was both filmed and photographed at the attempted coup, donning fur and a tactical vest with “POLICE” written across the chest. Yeshiva World posted videos that appear to show FBI agents outside a Flatbush residence this morning, carrying what seemed to be the same fur getup Mostofsky sported during the riot. Mostofsky’s father is Shlomo Mostofsky, a Kings County Supreme Court judge and a “prominent figure in the Orthodox Jewish community,” as the New York Post put it.
Mostofsky is charged with theft of government property, a felony, and several other offenses related to his entry of the Capitol. Mostofsky, 34, faces a maximum of 10 years in federal lockup if convicted of the top charge.
In a video interview from inside the Capitol, he told the Post last week that “we were cheated.” “I don’t think 75 million people voted for Trump — I think it was close to 85 million,” Mostofsky said. “I think certain states that have been red for a long time turned blue and were stolen, like New York.”
Not surprisingly, Mostofsky’s statements and social media helped prosecutors pursue him. In the statement of facts filed with the criminal complaint, an FBI special agent specifically cites the Post’s interview with Mostofsky, noting that he made these comments inside the Capitol, and a subsequent Post article IDing him.
The FBI began conducting a review of Mostofsky’s social-media accounts on January 7, the day after the riot. The Instagram account “@aaron_mostofsky_official” contained videos from inside and outside the Capitol recorded “by a male believed to be Mostofsky,” court docs state. “One video posted on January 6, which appears to show Mostofsky on a bus and appears to be a self-taken video, was labeled ‘DC bound stopthesteal,’” the court document notes.
The social-media review also turned up a photo sent to Mostofsky by another user on January 7, “showing him within the US Capitol carrying a US Capitol Police riot shield containing the US Capitol Police logo, as well as wearing a US Capitol Police officer’s bullet proof vest labeled ‘Police,’” court docs state. The items have a combined value of more than $2,000. “The photo is consistent with images from Mostofsky’s news interview from within the U.S. Capitol, including Mostofsky’s attire,” the document noted.
The meme shown below was made from the photo and included in the court document. Mostofsky’s photo is captioned, “IMAGINE COMING OFF 10 HITS OF ACID AND U LOOK AROUND AND UR IN THE US CAPITOL LIKE SHIT.”
Someone messaged Mostofsky about the photo, writing, “Your [sic] famous.” He allegedly replied, “[I know] unfortunately.” When asked “why unfortunately,” he replied, “Cause now people actually know me.” In this same conversation, Mostofsky discussed his presence in the building, writing, “But it was like I’m here now how did I get there.”
In a pre-riot message on January 6, when Mostofsky was coordinating a meetup with a friend, he wrote, “If we find each other[,] look for a guy looking like a caveman.” He also allegedly wrote, “Even a caveman knows it [the election] was stolen.”
Mostofsky was arraigned virtually on Tuesday over a clunky video feed that featured whistling, what was either a groan or a yawn, and at least one burp before it even started. Mostofsky was asked if he could hear things, and then said he could, before the feed got sketchy. “He’s popping in and out,” his lawyer, Jeffrey Schwartz, remarked of the video at one point.
While they were discussing bail, the judge asked Mosftosky’s brother Neil—who is serving as Aaron’s third-party custodian—about their relationship. “We’re extremely close, I speak to him quite often,” Neil said. When the judge said that he would have to report Aaron if he violated his bail, Neil replied: “I understand.”
The judge agreed to release him on a $100,000 bond Tuesday. Mostofsky, who will wear a GPS monitoring device, is prohibited from going to political gatherings and state capitols — which the FBI has warned will face armed protests. He’s also barred from leaving New York City and speaking with known mob participants.