Capitol Riots: CEO ARRESTED! ‘Single Worst Mistake of My Life’ – plus the others identified
The chief executive of a Chicago company said he was arrested on Wednesday after he entered the US Capitol along with the rest of the mob of pro-Trump rioters seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
The company Cogensia released a statement saying Brad Rukstales has been placed on leave while it considers the next step.
The attack on the US Capitol left at least five people dead, including a police officer and led to calls for President Donald Trump to resign or be removed by invoking the 25th Amendment or impeached and removed by Congress.
“Our CEO, Brad Rukstales, participated in the recent Washington DC protests,” the Schaumburg, Ill.-based company said in a statement Thursday. “Those actions were his own and not acting on behalf of Cogensia nor do his actions in any way reflect the policies or values of our firm. He has been placed on leave of absence while we assess further.”
Brad Rukstales is back in his suburban Inverness home and admits to entering the capitol
He’s talking to @cbschicago at 10p
"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." pic.twitter.com/9YJA8JeSkG
— Charlie De Mar (@CharlieDeMar) January 8, 2021
Rukstales, in his own statement posted on Twitter, apologized for what he called “the single worst personal decision of my life.”
“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,” Rukstales wrote. “I was arrested for the first time in my life and charged with unlawful entry.”
He continued, “My decision to enter the Capitol was wrong, and I am deeply regretful to have done so,” adding that he “condemn[ed] the violence and destruction that took place in Washington.”
The internet is the new FBI
Many of the rioters who wreaked havoc in Congress failed to wear a mask. Thankfully, it has made them easy to identify.
One rioter who joined the mob wore a red Trump hat, a commemorative sweatshirt from the president’s inauguration and a lanyard around his neck.
His picture went viral quickly and it didn’t take long for the internet detectives to realise his lanyard held his work badge – clearly identifying him as an employee of Navistar Direct Marketing.
On Thursday, they fired him.
And he’s not alone. While police and the FBI work to identify and arrest members of the mob, online detectives are also crowdsourcing and doing them – exposing them to criminal prosecutions and immediate career consequences.
With the lack of masks and the fact most of the mob live-streamed their participation and later bragged, it’s not been difficult for the internet to find them.
Using journalists’ photos and videos, live-streamed content from the rioters, Twitter and Instagram users have been working hard since Wednesday to IS and name those who stormed the halls of the Capitol, ransacking lawmakers’ offices and occupying the House chamber.
The Instagram account @homegrownterrorists amassed a huge following in just a few hours. When posters believe they’ve identified someone, the images are updated with names and details about the person — like their social-media handle, hometown, or job title.
The FBI has been attempting a similar tactic. The Washington field office tweeted dozens of images of rioters on Thursday, asking the public to help identify people. Through early Thursday, police said they arrested 69 people from at least 20 states and the District of Columbia for charges ranging from unlawful entry of public property to violating curfew and assaulting a police officer. The department is also offering $1,000 rewards for tips that lead to an arrest.
But even for some who haven’t yet been charged with a crime, the consequences have been swift for their crowdsourced identifications.
Dallas-area lawyer, Paul Davis is another that has felt the swift action of the internet. He was fired on Thursday from his position as associate general counsel and director of human resources at Goosehead Insurance after a Twitter user posted his Instagram story, showing Davis live-streaming outside the Capitol and talking about wanting to get inside. Davis said in the video that he had been teargassed.
Goosehead confirmed Davis’ firing on Twitter.
A Chicago real-estate brokerage firm confirmed that it had fired an agent, Libby Andrews, after receiving a “tremendous amount of outreach” regarding her posts on social media about “storming the Capitol.”
Andrews told the Chicago Tribune that she arrived at the Capitol after people had already broken in and didn’t realize what they were doing was illegal.
“I had no idea people were breaking in and that destruction was happening,” she told the Tribune.
A teacher in Allentown, Pa., was put on temporary leave while the school district completes an investigation into his participation.
A lieutenant sheriff in Bexar County, Texas, who has been on leave since October as the department investigates allegations of an inappropriate relationship with an inmate, is under a second investigation after she posted multiple images of breaking into the Capitol on her Facebook account, according to KSAT.
A Sanford, Fla., a firefighter is also on administrative leave and under investigation after he was spotted among the mob in photographs, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
By early Friday, other videos continued to go viral of rioters boasting about their participation and even identifying themselves.
A recording on Facebook Live from Jenny Cudd, a small-business owner who in 2019 mounted a failed mayoral campaign in Midland, Texas, went viral on Twitter, amassing nearly 4 million views as of early Friday. In it, Cudd boasted about breaking into the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“We did break down Nancy Pelosi’s office door and somebody stole her gavel, and I took a picture sitting in the chair flipping off the camera and that was on Fox News,” she said.
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