A teenager who alerted the FBI to his dad’s alleged role in the Capitol riots has said he felt guilty for speaking with the authorities – but would ‘do it all again’.
Jackson Reffitt, 18, told Fox4: ‘I got in contact with the FBI after the Capitol riots about my dad. It was my moral compass, kind of, to do what I thought would protect not only my family, but my dad himself.’
His father, Guy Reffitt, 48, was arrested Friday at his home in Wylie, Texas, according to court records.
He is charged with obstruction of justice and unlawful entry. According to an affidavit, the 48-year-old was recorded on video outside the Capitol during the January 6 riot and later threatened his wife and children if they turned him in.
According to local news, Reffitt’s wife told officials that he was arguing about the incident with his son and daughter when he told them: ‘If you turn me in, you’re a traitor and you know what happens to traitors. … Traitors get shot.’
Reffitt Jr. said Saturday he had not spoken with his dad since his arrest but ‘wished he could’. He told The New York Times he was no longer staying at the family home; he would not reveal his location for fear of his safety.
He added: ‘I would say I’m sorry, because I don’t feel like I put him in this situation, but I still feel guilty. I would do it again.’
Jackson Reffitt, pictured, alerted the FBI to his dad’s alleged role in the Capitol riots
Guy Reffitt (pictured at the Capitol), 48, of Texas, who was arrested in connection to the riot at the Capitol earlier this month, allegedly threatened to shoot his children if they became ‘traitors’ and turned him in to the FBI
The teen is said to have contacted the authorities about his dad in the days before the siege, The New York Times reports.
He told the paper: ‘He would always tell me that he’s going to do something big. I didn’t know what he was going to do, so I just did anything possible just to be on the safe side.’
The FBI then spoke with Reffitt Jr. to follow up on his tip in the wake of the Capitol riots.
Reffitt Jr. said Saturday he had not spoken with his dad since his arrest but ‘wished he could’. He told The New York Times he was no longer staying at the family home; he would not reveal his location for fear of his safety. He is pictured speaking with Chris Cuomo on CNN
Jackson said he is ‘afraid’ about what his dad ‘might think’ after he finds out he spoke with the FBI and said his mom and two sisters did not know about this contact with the authorities until they saw him being interviewed in the media.
Referring to Donald Trump he told CNN: ‘Obviously the man in charge at the time, I feel like, just really manipulated him into thinking what he is thinking now.’
‘I’m obviously not sure about that, but I can’t know for sure. That’s the only thing I can blame this — the politics he follows and idolizes.’
According to an affidavit obtained by Dallas News Reffitt Sr. told his family that he went to Washington, DC, to ‘to protect the country,’ that he brought a gun with him, and that he ‘stormed the Capitol’.
When he returned home, he allegedly told his son not to report him to investigators or he would ‘do what he had to do’.
In addition, Reffitt reportedly told his daughter that if she betrayed him and the family that he would ‘put a bullet through’ her phone.
Reffitt’s wife told officials that Reffit (pictured in blue with a helmet at the Capitol) was arguing about the incident with his son and daughter when he told them: ‘If you turn me in, you’re a traitor and you know what happens to traitors. … Traitors get shot’
While his wife said she didn’t believe that Reffitt (pictured at the Capitol) act on his words, she said that their family felt ‘disturbed’ by his comments
While his wife said she didn’t believe that Reffitt would act on his words, she said that their family felt ‘disturbed’ by his comments.
Images from that day show Reffitt wearing a helmet with a camera fastened to the front of it. He’s also seen in the images wearing a blue jacket and what appears to be a bulletproof vest.
FBI agents found an AR-15 rifle and a pistol during their search of Reffitt’s home, according to the affidavit. The court document states that Reffitt´s wife told agents he is a member of the anti-government Three Percenters movement.
Reffitt told agents he was at the Capitol but did not go inside, according to the affidavit.
Supporters loyal to President Donald Trump clash with authorities before successfully breaching the Capitol building during a riot on the grounds on January 6
Pro-Trump protesters storm into the U.S. Capitol during clashes with police, during a rally to contest the certification of presidential election results by on January 6
More than 125 people have been arrested so far on charges related to the violent insurrection led by supporters of President Donald Trump at the Capitol, where a Capitol police officer and four others were killed.
Far-right media personality Tim Gionet, who calls himself ‘Baked Alaska,’ was arrested in Houston Saturday.
A Dallas-area real estate agent, a retired Air Force officer and several other Texas residents have also been charged with crimes tied to the insurrection.
Charges from the riot range from curfew violations to serious federal felonies related to theft and weapons possession.