Aaron Mostofsky is a New York judge’s son who is accused of dressing like a “caveman” to participate in the Capitol Riots.
His father used to be president of a major Jewish organization and was endorsed by a local Democratic committee for New York Supreme Court. Aaron Mostofsky is now charged with theft of government property, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, impeding government business and unlawful entry and disorderly conduct.
“If we find each other look for a guy looking like a caveman,” he wrote a friend via social media, the complaint against him says. Authorities believe another reference he made referred to the presidential election: “Even a caveman knows it was stolen.” On Facebook, he’s accused of writing, “Since the republicans lost the house I have the following questions 1 when and where are we protesting/rioting…”
According to the New York Daily News, during the riots, he was seen wearing a fur coat, clear riot shield and bulletproof vest. He had referred to himself as a “caveman.”
“The police riot shield and police vest are items of value belonging to the United States, specifically the US Capitol Police,” the complaint says. He’s the son of Judge Shlomo Mostofsky, who has denied any knowledge of his behavior, Daily News reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mostsofsky Is Accused of Proclaiming That the ‘Election Was Stolen’
The criminal complaint uses a New York Post interview Mostofsky gave against him.
“On January 6, 2021, the subject who identified himself to a New York Post reporter in an interview was profiled in a New York Post article titled, ‘NYC man says he stormed US Capitol to fight stolen election,'” the complaint says. “In the video interview, ‘Aaron’ explained his actions by stating: ‘the election was stolen,’ ‘we were cheated,’ and ‘I don’t think 75 million people voted for Trump. I think it was close to 85 million.'”
The complaint describes the moment the crowd “advanced” into the building, necessitating the evacuation of the vice president:
At approximately 2:00 p.m., certain individuals in the crowd forced their way through, up, and over the barricades and officers of the U.S. Capitol Police, and the crowd advanced to the exterior façade of the building. At such time, the joint session was still underway and the exterior doors and windows of the U.S. Capitol were locked or otherwise secured. Members of the U.S. Capitol Police attempted to maintain order and keep the crowd from entering the Capitol; however, shortly after 2:00 p.m., individuals in the crowd forced entry into the U.S. Capitol, including by breaking windows. Shortly thereafter, at approximately 2:20 p.m. members of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate, including the President of the Senate, Vice President Mike Pence, were instructed to—and did—evacuate the chambers. Accordingly, the joint session of the United States Congress was effectively suspended until shortly after 8:00 p.m. Vice President Pence remained in the United States Capitol from the time he was evacuated from the Senate Chamber until the sessions resumed.
2. Mostofsky Is Accused of Carrying a Capitol Police Officer’s Shield
The complaint says “Aaron” continued to tell the interviewer “that he traveled from Brooklyn, NY. The New York Post video interview was conducted inside the Capitol Building, during which ‘Aaron’ is observed carrying what appears to be 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.'”
In the video interview, “Aaron” states that “he took a police riot shield that he found on floor,” says the complaint.
“Aaron” then “motioned to the police vest on his chest, in what appears to be him indicating that he also found that item on the floor and took it into his possession. He also states that he found a hat on the ground but he returned that item to a police officer because that might be someone’s personal item.”
The complaint says the vest is valued at $1,905 and the riot shield at $256, and both are the property of the U.S. Capitol Police.
On January 7, 2021, authorities located a second article from the New York Post titled, “NYC man who breached US Capitol is son of prominent Brooklyn judge.” The article identified “Aaron” as Aaron Mostofsky. “A search of New York State Department of Motor Vehicle images associated with Aaron Mostofsky revealed a photograph that matched the depiction of the individual interviewed within the US Capitol known as ‘Aaron,'” the complaint says.
3. Mostofsky Discussed His Newfound Fame in Instagram Posts Described in the Criminal Complaint
On January 7, 2021, an FBI review of social media accounts belonging to Aaron Mostofsky “identified an Instagram account ‘aaron_mostofsky_official’ which contained videos taken both inside and outside the US Capitol taken by a male believed to be Mostofsky,” the complaint says.
“One video posted on January 6, 2021, which appears to show Mostofsky on a bus, and appears to be a self-taken video,
was labeled ‘DC bound stopthesteal.'” the complaint says.
A search warrant for the Instagram account was executed. It showed more posts “regarding the Mostofsky presence in the US Capitol Building. In particular, the records show that on January 7, 2021, a photo was sent to Mostofsky by another user 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.'”
A message was sent to Mostofsky regarding the photo saying: “Your famous.” In response, Mostofsky, under his username aaron_mostofsky_official, stated: “IK unfortunately.” The sender asked: “why unfortunately.” Mostofsky responded “Cause now people actually know me.” That’s according to the complaint.
“Mostofsky in this conversation confirms that he is the person in the photo wearing and holding property of the U.S. Capitol Police. During the same conversation Mostofsky also describes his presence in the U.S. Capitol stating: ‘But it was like I’m here now how did I get there,'” the complaint says.
He also posted that he “…on this bus going to DC.”
4. Mostofsky’s Father Once Ran a Major Organization of Orthodox Synagogues
Aaron Mostofsky, the politically connected son of Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Shlomo Mostofsky, was among the band of Trump-supporting marauders who ransacked the U.S. Capitol building.
Neither father nor son returned repeated inquiries from Gothamist. https://t.co/P6rSOBKU4j
— Bruno J. Navarro (@Bruno_J_Navarro) January 8, 2021
Jewish News reports that Judge Mostofsky also goes by the name Steven Mostofsky. “Mostofsky defeated Theresa M. Ciccotto and Charles Finkelstein in the Democratic primary on September 13, winning 44.8% of the vote,” Ballotpedia reports. That was in 2012.
Steven Mostofsky “is a judge of the New York Supreme Court 2nd Judicial District. He assumed office on January 1, 2020. His current term ends on January 1, 2034,” the site reports.
Mostofsky also serves a judge of the New York City Civil Court. In 2018, King County Politics reported that the elder Mostofsky was a Brooklyn native who “graduated from New York Law School in 1982 and got his start working under now retired Judge Leon Deutsch in family law for six years.”
He was previously in private practice and spent a decade as president of the National Council of Young Israel, “a confederation of about 150 modern Orthodox synagogues representing 25,000 households across the North America,” King County Politics reported.
In 2019, the Kings County Democratic Executive Committee gave him its endorsement for New York State Supreme Court justice.
5. Mostofsky’s Brother Attended the Rally But Didn’t Enter the Capitol & Say Aaron Didn’t Do Anything Illegal
His Pop, Brooklyn Supreme Court judge Shlomo Mostofsky said on Friday he didn’t know anything about the unfortunate events
— jim.j.j (@jimjjackson2) January 9, 2021
According to the Jewish News, Mostofsky’s brother Nachman is the executive director of Chovevei Zion, “a politically conservative Orthodox advocacy organization” and is “a Brooklyn district leader and vice president of the South Brooklyn Conservative Club.”
He went to the rally but didn’t go inside the Capitol, Jewish News reports.
Nachman spoke to Jewish Telegraphic Agency before his brother was identified as the alleged Capitol rioter. He condemned the violence but said “suggested that it was carried out by the anti-fascist group Antifa,” Jewish News reports. No evidence has surfaced of Antifa ties to the riots.
He argued that his brother was “pushed inside” and not part of the illegal activities at the riot, the site reported.
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