My story on the dark-haired tourist with his blonde girlfriend who defaced the Roman Colosseum led to much outrage as well as a fair amount of amateur sleuthing on who “Ivan” might be. Turns out the culprit is a Bulgarian national living in the United Kingdom, not an American who faced threats of violence and death over a shared name and resemblance to the actual perpetrator.
Blessed Internet: Doxxing The Innocent American Doppelgänger Of Thug Who Defaced Roman Colosseum
We’ll get to the actual thug in a moment, but first let’s focus on the American couple who shared the same given names as what were craved into the ancient edifice in Rome. “The internet” tracked a couple down using a wedding registry who shared the name Ivan and Hayley. They even looked similar. Was it plausible that it was them? Sure. But what followed was not only doxxing, but calls to protest in front of their house, knock on their door, and even hurt them in retaliation.
Small problem: that’s not the way the law works, even if they were the vandals. But they weren’t! Let this be a lesson to all of us to exercise extreme caution in making accusations and to refrain from doxxing because there are some very real consequences for doing so, as the American couple who were unwittingly pulled into this conflict will attest.
Ivan Dimitrov In A Heap Of Trouble
Now, let’s move to the actual culprit. Bulgarian national Ivan Dimitrov, 27, has been identified as the culprit. Dimitrov is a fitness instructor and lives in the United Kingdom. His girlfriend is Hayley Bracey, 33.
Asked if was them, Bracey’s mother said, “No, that can’t be right. She wouldn’t do anything like that. She’s on holiday in Italy. Ivan is her partner, and they are both away.”
He has sent an “apology letter” the Mayor of Rome. What is this, primary school?
“It is with deep embarrassment that only after what regrettably happened did I learn of the antiquity of the monument.”
And as View From The Wing notes, Dimitrov’s lawyer has come up wtih a rather unusual defense:
“The boy is the prototype of the foreigner who frivolously believes that anything is allowed in Italy, even the type of act which in their own countries would be severely punished.”
He’s certainly not an archetype…
My most important takeaway from this story is that we should be careful before making accusations.
But after such a clear video, the culprit was identified as Ivan Dimitrov and now faces both civil and criminal penalties in Italy. Meanwhile, his lawyer just says he was an ignorant foreigner.
I’m still thinking hard labor is the best punishment along with a permeant ban on visiting Italy after that time.