An anti-masker who was caught harassing an elderly woman on a subway for wearing a mask and shouting 1776 repeatedly in her face, has been identified as Ryan Bartels. Calls to identify Bartels grew after his harassment video went viral on multiple social media platforms.
Originally shared on TikTok by a user named Naviko, the same also appeared on Twitter. "We need to find out who this guy is and where he works because this was absolutely unacceptable. Unhinged #antimasker #Antivaxxer bullied an elderly woman on the #subway #NYC today," Naviko tweeted along with the video.
Bartels Told Elderly Victim "I Respect Freedom"
The video begins with a maskless Bartels, dressed in blue shorts and a shirt, standing close to an elderly woman in the subway car. "I wish the police would come and give you a $50 fine," the woman is heard telling Bartels probably in reference to the MTA's mask mandate on subways in New York City.
"Oh I am so afraid," the man mocks the woman as he brings his face near her. At this point the elderly woman is seen standing up from her seat and calmly telling the man to step away from her. The man starts chanting "1776" repeatedly when the woman again tells him to "respect the elders."
"Do you know what I respect? I respect freedom," he shouts back. He is then seen telling the person recording the incident to "Take a seat. Sit down. Sit the f*** down. That's right."
Bartels Is Former CarMax Employee
The Heavy reported that after the video went viral on social media, the man was identified as Ryan Bartles, a former employee of CarMax.
Identifying the man from the video, TikToker Savannah, @rx0rcist, revealed his identity in a video posted on her account. "Don't worry, bestie, I got you," she says at the beginning of her video. Everybody, meet 27-year-old New Jersey native Ryan Bartels. Ryan thought it would be appropriate to harass and verbally assault an elderly woman on the subway over her mask, so I did what any sane person would do: I found your mom and sister and told them what you did."
After several users tagged CarMax in their tweets while identifying Bartels, the company replied saying that he has not worked for the company since May 2021.
The now deleted LinkedIn profile of Bartels mentions that he works as a product Manager at CarMax.
The outlet reported that Bartels, who worked as an investment banking summer analyst at Goldman Sachs from 2014 to 2015, attended Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York, and then graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in commerce.
Bartels Attended Anti-Vaccine Mandate Rally in New York
Some users of social media also shared pictures of Bartels attending the anti-vaccine mandate rally organized by the New York Young Republican Club in New York City on August 15.
Bartels was spotted in same set of clothes which he was seen wearing while harassing the elderly woman in subway car. A man wearing a baseball hat and red T-shirt with black shorts, who was seen standing with Bartels in subway, was also spotted in the photo. The users identified him as Nicholas Sam.
"Here they are at the new republican club rally today in Nyc. Guy on left was his buddy on the train who laughed and looked along. Notice Pudge boy is throwing up proud boy gestures. I've also been told he may be a proud boy from some sources," tweeted a user while sharing the pictures.