A downstate man is facing federal charges of inciting a riot and possession of an explosive device after he allegedly traveled to Minneapolis last week with homemade bombs.
Matthew Rupert, 28, made the crucial mistake of streaming his allegedly riotous activities on Facebook Live. And we found the videos for you.
After spending a couple days in Minneapolis, Rupert came to Chicago over the weekend and again posted Facebook videos while rioting in the Loop. Cops arrested him and his 29-year-old brother early Sunday for violating the city curfew. Investigators allegedly found homemade bombs in their car.
A federal judge in Chicago yesterday agreed to let prosecutors take Rupert to Minneapolis to face the charges.
Rupert’s compromising two-hour video is laced with big talk and hubris. His unique gold-plated teeth glisten in the footage. But Rupert repeatedly shows himself to be less than an optimum warrior.
The video opens with Rupert recruiting a man to throw one of his bombs at Minnesota police.
“I’ve got some bombs,” Rupert tells the man. “Bomb ‘em back. Light it and throw it.”
“He’s throwing my bombs,” Rupert brags incriminatingly. “They gonna bomb the police right now with ‘em.”
“We came to riot, boy, and we got it! Yes!”
Moments later, one of Rupert’s companions expresses concern about his decision to livestream their activities.
But Rupert brushes off those concerns: “We ain’t doing nothin’ wrong.”
Rupert’s big plans are repeatedly cut short by police countermeasures that leave him limping, crying, and soaking his hand in puddles of water to soothe painful burns.
Things start to sour when he grabs a burning police tear gas canister because he wants to keep it.
“Kick that tear gas over here,” he tells a friend as the burning smoke bomb sizzles nearby. “I want that.”
Apparently unaware that active tear gas canisters are extremely hot, Rupert picks up the round with his bare hand.
“Damn that tear gas melted me,” he later says after repeatedly stopping to soothe the burns in pools of stagnant water. “I’m cool. It’s worth it.”
Rupert works up his confidence, heads back toward the nearby police skirmish, and is almost immediately felled by an anti-riot projectile that slams into his ankle.
“Right in my ankle! That b*tch ain’t no rubber, bro. That’s plastic,” he observes. “If they hit somebody in the eye, they’re gonna get sued for that.”
After limping off the ankle injury, Rupert soaks his burnt hand in another puddle and suddenly begins running toward the police again.
“I’m ready to get hit again! F*ck it! I’m going in!”
His bold charge toward battle lasts exactly 10 seconds.
“F*ck these b*tches! F*ck u… Oh. F*ck. That’s tear gas.”
Rupert immediately reverses course, coughing, and wheezing. Eyes watering, breath heavy, Rupert drools long streams of saliva. “I been tear-gassed.”
Elsewhere in the video, Rupert explicitly talks about needing to go to his car to “get grenades for the people to fight…back.”
“I have some bombs for ‘em,” he brags later.
“It’s a f*ckin’ mortar,” he says of a hand-sized cylinder with a wick hanging out of it. “Throw one back at the police, bro. Here.”
He slips into boarded-up businesses with other looters, helping himself to electronics in an office supply store.
Inside a barren cellular store, Rupert asks, “Should we torch it? Should we torch it?”
“We lit it on fire,” he later announces while walking away from the building. “It’s on fire. It’s on fire. I lit it on fire.”
“Best thing I ever did in my life,” Rupert says of the Minneapolis riots before taking an incoming call: “What’s up mom? We’re out here wreckin’ ‘em. I’m throwing my fireworks back.”
Rupert posted several shorter videos to his Facebook page, including some from the Chicago riots. His page has since been deactivated.