INVERNESS, Ill. (CBS) — Bradley Rukstales was deep in protest at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday afternoon – and then riots broke out, and he ended up getting arrested.
On Thursday night, Rukstales, of northwest suburban Inverness, told CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar things just got out of hand.
We chatted with Rukstales outside his home. He apologized for his decision and said he regrets the embarrassment to his family, colleagues, and friends.
But when De Mar asked him why he chose to break the law and go inside into the Capitol, he decided he’d had enough talking.
“It was great to see a whole bunch of people together in the morning and hear the speeches, but it turned into chaos,” Rukstales said.
Rukstales was back home Thursday night in his upscale, quiet suburban Inverness home – in a drastic contrast to the chaos he chose to participate in just a day earlier.
Rukstales, chief executive officer of the Schaumburg-based tech company Cogensia, was arrested in D.C. as supporters of President Donald Trump turned violent and stormed the Capitol.
“I had nothing to do with charging anybody or anything or doing any of that,” Rukstales said. “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and I regret my part in that.”
De Mar asked Rukstales if he was inside the Capitol.
“I was,” Rukstales said.
Online campaign contributions show Rukstales donated more than $28,000 to Republican causes – including $12,000 to President Trump through various committees.
“Everything that happened yesterday I think was absolutely terrible,” Rukstales said. “I’m sorry for my part in it.”
David Fitzgerald from Roselle also traveled to D.C. for the rally. He posted the mob action to his Facebook.
Fitzgerald was arrested near the Capitol by Washington, D.C. police for unlawful entry and curfew violations.
“I’m shocked,” said Fitzgerald’s neighbor, Michelle Caruso. “He’s a very nice guy.”
Back in Inverness, Rukstales, who was arrested by Capitol Hill Police, again said, “I think the violence was terrible.”
De Mar then asked, “Why did you go inside?”
At that point, Rukstales waved and closed the door.
Rukstales later said he followed a group of hundreds inside. He released the following written statement:
“In a moment of extremely poor judgment following the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, I followed hundreds of others through an open set of doors to the Capitol building to see what was taking place inside. I was arrested for the first time in my life and charged with unlawful entry.
“My decision to enter the Capitol was wrong, and I am deeply regretful to have done so. Without qualification and as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen, I condemn the violence and destruction that took place in Washington.
“I offer my sincere apologies for my indiscretion, and I deeply regret that my actions have brought embarrassment to my family, colleagues, friends and fellow countrymen.
“It was the single worst personal decision of my life; I have no excuse for my actions and wish that I could take them back.”
The U.S. Attorney in D.C. said nothing is off the table when it comes to potential charges – including sedition, which comes with a possible sentence of 20 years.
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