The head of a marketing firm outside Chicago who was arrested during the Capitol siege says storming the building was the “single worst decision” of his life.
Bradley Rukstales, the 52-year-old CEO and president of Cogensia, confirmed his arrest by Capitol Police for unlawful entry in Washington on Wednesday to WBEZ.
The campaign contributor to President Trump said the first arrest of his life was the result of “extremely poor judgment” as he followed hundreds of others through an open set of doors to invade the Capitol — which resulted in one woman being fatally shot, three others dying from medical emergencies and a Capitol Police officer succumbing to injuries.
“My decision to enter the Capitol was wrong, and I am deeply regretful to have done so,” Rukstales said in a statement. “Without qualification and as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen, I condemn the violence and destruction that took place in Washington.”
Rukstales also apologized to his family, colleagues and “fellow countrymen” for his actions.
“It was the single worst personal decision of my life,” the exec’s statement continued. “I have no excuse for my actions and wish that I could take them back.”
Rukstales’ employer, meanwhile, announced on Twitter late Thursday that he had been placed on leave as it assesses the incident, saying he was acting on his own behalf while participating in the riots.
A CBS Chicago reporter also caught up with Rukstales at his Inverness home, where he briefly recalled what he saw before cutting the interview short.
“I mean, it was great to see a whole bunch of people together in the morning, and hear the speeches, but, uh, yeah, it turned into chaos,” he recalled late Thursday.
“I had nothing to do with charging anybody or anything or any of that — I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and I regret my part in that. And that’s all I’m comfortable saying.”
Rukstales had previously donated more than $28,000 to Republicans, including $12,000 to Trump via various committees, according to campaign contributions obtained by the station.
Another suburban Chicago man, a self-employed tattoo artist from Roselle, was also arrested in Washington on Wednesday. Metropolitan Police said they charged David Fitzgerald, 48, with unlawful entry on federal grounds and breaking curfew near the Capitol late Wednesday, WBEZ reported.
A Chicago real estate agent and admitted “big Trump supporter” also lost her job for posting on social media about “storming the Capitol,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
Libby Andrews, 56, told the newspaper she did not enter the Capitol, but was photographed close to the door while wearing a Trump knit hat, according to the report.
“I think it’s horrible that somebody broke their way in,” Andrews said, adding that she had already gotten another job offer. “I think it’s horrible that happened. I condemn acts of violence.”
CEO says breaching Capitol was ‘single worst’ decision of his life The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ New York Post.