CHICAGO (CBS) — Bradley Rukstales was accused of storming the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot – and just hours after his arrest, he admitted it to CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar.
On Tuesday – eight months later – Rukstales, 53, has pleaded guilty.
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Rukstales was one of numerous people hit with federal charges after supporters of President Donald Trump turned violent and stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Rukstales, of Inverness, had been the chief executive officer of Schaumburg-based tech company Cogensia. He was fired by the company the same day he was hit with federal charges for his role in the riot.
So far, the U.S. Department of Justice has identified and charged 13 people from Illinois with participating in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
Five people died in the attack. Rukstales faces six months in federal prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
De Mar talked exclusively with Rukstales a day after the riot and his arrest.
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“It turned into chaos,” Rukstales said on Jan. 7.
He added: “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. That’s all I’m comfortable saying.”
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De Mar then asked Rukstales if he was inside the Capitol the day before. Rukstales said he was.
As Capitol Police retreated down a flight of stairs that winter day, federal prosecutors said chairs tumbled down behind them. Rukstales is accused of throwing one of those chairs.
Charging documents say he “picked up one of the chairs at the bottom of the stairwell, and threw it in the direction of where the officers had retreated down the corridor.”
As police yelled for people to leave, one of the officers brushed up against Rukstales from behind — his arm stretched out toward officers.
“The officer immediately turned around, brought Rukstales to the ground, and he and another officers dragged Rukstales behind their defensive line to be arrested,” the charges alleged.
Rukstales was initially charged with unlawful entry in D.C. Superior Court, but now federal prosecutors have charged him with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
“Everything that happened yesterday, I think, was terrible. I’m sorry for my part in it,” Rukstales told De Mar on Jan. 7.
Rukistales is the first Illinois resident to plead guilty in the riots. He will find out his sentence later in November.
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He faces up to six months in prison and a fine of $5,000.