A Proud Boy and military veteran who tried to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was arrested this week after online sleuths identified him with the help of photos from his modeling career.
Alan Fischer, also known as A.J. Fischer, was arrested in Florida and charged in D.C. with assaulting/resisting/impeding federal officers, civil disorder, entering restricted buildings or grounds, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, according to court records.
Fischer was seen marching with the Proud Boys on Jan. 6, and entering the tunnel on the west side of the Capitol where some of the worst violence of the day took place. Online sleuths dubbed the man, who was no. 222 on the FBI’s Capitol Violence webpage, as “RayBanTerrorist.”
While Fischer appears to have removed much of his social media presence, it wasn’t quite enough. A number of different civilian investigators were working on the case, and one breakthrough came when sleuths got a facial recognition hit on a news story from Tampa Bay that featured images from New Years 2019, including a photo from Fischer’s Instagram page that gave them a lead. From there, they found additional photos that had been tagged on various social media websites, as well as photos from his modeling career.
Frank W. McDermott, an attorney for Fischer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
While Fischer’s arms were covered up when he participated in the Capitol attack, they were not when he traveled to D.C. a few weeks prior, in December 2020, and posed for a photo with a group of Proud Boys. His unique tattoos on display in that photo, which were also visible in some of his shirtless modeling photos, helped confirm his identification.
Other models have been arrested in connection with the Capitol attack, including Logan Barnhart, a bodybuilder who appeared on the cover of romance novels; and Michael Aaron Carico, an actor and model who was also caught with the help of his Instagram.
Two other Proud Boy associates, Zachary Johnson and Dion Rajewski, were arrested this week. So were two Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes and Edward Vallejo, who now face a seditious conspiracy indictment along with several other previously charged Oath Keepers.
In the past year, more than 700 people have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, but that’s still roughly a quarter of the more than 2,500 people who engaged in chargeable criminal activity that day.