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The QAnon Grifter Pretending DC is a Ghost Town
A lot of people have been sharing a video of a sad weirdo standing in the streets of DC, crying about all the restaurants and buildings being closed. The caption on the video reads “Washington DC is awful and abandoned. This is what the dystopian capital of the United States looks like now. Hotels and retailers here that are still open are also enforcing the mark. I can’t go anywhere here without showing papers.”
While people are rightly pointing out that he is standing in a business district on a Sunday night (a slow time for that area even outside of COVID), most people seem lucky enough to not know who he is.
I am here to ruin that for you.
This is Richard Potcner, who goes by the name Richard Citizen Journalist on social media. He lives in Maryland, and has over 277,000 Telegram followers that he regularly feeds lies to — primarily about the current happenings in Washington, DC. During my time undercover, I had numerous people ask me if I knew him personally when I would tell them I lived in the DC area.
When I first learned about Richard, I was in Tampa, Florida for a Proud Boys/Roger Stone joint venture. A woman told me that DC was totally underwater — shocking news to me, a person who had flown out of DCA that morning. I asked her why she thought this, and she said that Richard had let her know. Since then I’ve tracked him and his bullshit. Long time followers might remember my post from September about influencers encouraging their followers to die at home; this image is from Richard’s Telegram:
I find Richard particularly frustrating because he’s spreading lies about the city I live in. He’s constantly on the streets here, harassing people and filming it for his dumb channel.
After the January 6th insurrection, Richard did something really dumb and set up an open tab for the National Guard to get food from a local restaurant called Pete’s Diner, saying he would pay it off as a gesture of goodwill. Will Sommer reported how poorly that went: the tab hit $10,000, and once Richard raised the money from his supporters to pay it off he…kept the cash and did ??? with it.
Richard has a protective order against him from domestic violence case that has him unable to own firearms until December 2022. He violated that protective order in May 2020, and has had numerous court appearances over it since, and had to post a $2,500 bond in November 2021.
In December 2021 he posted a video that was so bizarre (even for his standards!) that it’s easier to share some of it with you than it is to describe it:
In addition to all of this, he couldn't help but put photos of himself at January 6th on his Bumble account. Local resident Kim L told me she saw his photos and reported him to Bumble for "being at the coup...I think Bumble specifically already had a policy against white supremacist content." Richard ended up getting banned, but if you're on dating apps in DC -- maybe keep your eyes peeled for him!