Updated: Apr 26, 2021
NEW YORK — For a man who allegedly advertised his involvement in the Capitol insurrection, Robert C. Chapman was surprisingly well-spoken and reserved when rejected on Bumble, an internet dating site.
“We are not a match,” a romantic prospect responded when Chapman bragged about his illegal exploits in Washington, D.C., according to court documents. “I suppose not,” Chapman responded.
That online come-on likely killed Chapman’s chance at romance, but it rebounded him into an ongoing relationship with the criminal justice system, according to court records.
On April 22, FBI counter-terrorism agents charged Robert Chapman, aka “Robert Erick,” 50, of Carmel, N.Y., with two counts each of Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority, and Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and images of someone who appears to be Chapman are included in an over two-thousand word statement of facts alleging his involvement in the insurrection. Chapman used Bumble to chat with the prospect on Jan. 13 — exactly a week after the insurrection, according to the statement.
“I did storm the capitol,” Chapman told the prospect. “I made it all the way into Statuary Hall!” Chapman goes on to brag about doing interviews with Washington Post reporter and Wall Street Journal reporters.
After rejecting Chapman, the prospect apparently cut off the conversation and tipped off law-enforcement officials the same day. Along with Chapman’s identity and location, the prospect gave investigators screenshots of the Bumble conversation and a Facebook post by a user with the handle “Lisa Jeanne Vunk,” according to court documents.
The Bumble screenshot included Chapman’s profile picture, and the Facebook post contained a selfie of Chapman in Statuary Hall, the documents allege.
“My Dear friend and Brostar Robert made it in the Capitol building at the protest yesterday….Wooo Hooooooooo!!!!” Lisa Jeanne Vunk commented in the post.
“Lisa Jeanne Vunk these are your peers? colleagues?” A Facebook user with the handle “Robert Erick” replied. “they are a bunch of little bitch trolls. keyboard warriors who don’t do a fuckin thing.”
While trolling the internet themselves, investigators found Robert Erick’s Facebook page, which contained more admissions and at least three more selfies taken inside the Capitol, according to the documents (see gallery, below).
“Gettin out of New York shitty, the rotten apple,” he posted. “Gonna go down to the District of Criminality to enjoy some much deserved Entertainment!”
“I’M FUCKIN INSIDE THE CRAPITOL!!! he commented with a selfie two days later.
Investigators matched the photos to a police body-camera video taken inside Statuary Hall during the insurrection, a surveillance photo of Chapman, and a mugshot New York State Police took of Chapman after they arrested him in 2017, according to the documents (see gallery). The video corroborates Chapman’s boast that he “made it all the way into Statuary Hall,” investigators stressed.
"During the video, ‘Robert Chapman’ is seen filming the activity inside of the U.S. Capitol using his cellular telephone,” the documents state.
Chapman was arraigned following his arrest. The court released him on his own recognizance after he agreed to release conditions.