A Texas teen who tipped off the FBI about his father’s role in the US Capitol riot has said he’d do it again even though he received a threat from his father.
Jackson Reffitt, whose dad, Guy Reffitt was charged last week in the Jan. 6 siege on the US Capitol told local outlet Fox4 that he acted out of moral obligation.
Reffitt said that his dad is part of a far-right militia group and that he has embraced increasingly radicalized views over the years.
He was concerned about what would happen when law enforcement came to arrest his father, saying, “The police could’ve come in at any time, at a bad time, regardless of the situation and my dad could’ve opened fire.”
“It was my moral compass.. to do what I thought would protect not only my family, but my dad himself,” he said.
“I would do it again.”
His father, Reffitt, of Wylie, had allegedly threatened his son and daughter saying: “If you turn me in, you’re a traitor and you know what happens to traitors … traitors get shot,” court papers state.
His son told the TV station, “I took that as a threat, but I never thought he would act upon it.”
“Calling the FBI wasn’t just because I think my dad is aggressive,” Reffitt said.
“I think what he’s been manipulated into thinking is aggressive.”
He also recalled the moment he learned his father was at the siege.
“I think it was FOX playing, and it was just live screening of riots at the Capitol, and the rushing in, and my mom said your dad is there,” Reffitt said.
Guy Reffitt, 48, was tracked down by federal authorities after footage of him at the Capitol during the riot was played on YouTube and on Fox News on the day of the siege.
Photos included in an arrest affidavit show him wearing a padded or tactical style vest and black helmet with what looks like a GoPro-style camera attached while at the Capitol.
The FBI found out he had previously posted a comment on a website for a militia extremist group known as the Texas Freedom Force.
When authorities arrested him on Jan. 15, they found an AR-15 style rifle and a Smith & Wesson pistol, court papers state.
While he hasn’t been able to speak with his dad since the arrest, Jackson said he wishes that he could.
“I would say I’m sorry, because I don’t feel like I put him in this situation, but I still feel guilty,” he said.