An 18-year-old Texas man tipped off the FBI about his father’s role in the US Capitol riot.
Jackson Reffitt told local outlet Fox4 that he acted out of moral obligation when he reported his father, Guy Reffitt, to federal authorities. His father was charged last week in the Jan. 6 siege.
“It was my moral compass … to do what I thought would protect not only my family, but my dad himself,” Reffitt told Fox4. “I would do it again.”
Guy Reffitt 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.”
Reffitt said 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.”
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 was tracked down by federal authorities on Jan. 15. Officers 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.