FBI: Texas man threatened to shoot family if they reported him going in US Capitol

Tear gas is released into a crowd of protesters during clashes with Capitol police at the US Capitol Building in Washington, US, on Jan 6, 2021. FBI agents tracked down Reffitt through a news video, showing a man outside the US Capitol building using a water bottle to flush out his eyes after apparently being pepper-sprayed. — Reuters

FORT WORTH, Texas: A Wylie man arrested over the weekend for going inside of the US Capitol on Jan 6 told his family he went there “to protect the country” and threatened to shoot his children if they turned him in, authorities say.

Guy Reffitt took his gun with him when they “stormed the Capitol” and recorded some of the events on his Go Pro camera that he was wearing on his helmet, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Reffitt was arrested Saturday at his Wylie home and faces federal charges of obstruction of justice and knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. Wylie is about 55 miles northeast of Fort Worth.

The Wylie man, who is a member of “Texas Freedom Force”, a militia extremist group, remained in federal custody on Monday.

FBI agents tracked down Reffitt through a news video, showing a man outside the US Capitol building using a water bottle to flush out his eyes after apparently being pepper-sprayed.

Reffitt is among several people who the FBI have arrested in the past few days in Texas and across the country and accused them of the violent intrusion.

One of them, Air Force veteran Larry Brock Jr. of Grapevine, told The New Yorker that US President Donald Trump’s loss in the presidential election in November was fraudulent, a position that is not supported by evidence.

On Jan 6, a joint session of the United States Congress convened to certify the vote count of the Electoral College declaring President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.

At about 2pm on that day, Trump supporters forced their way through and over barricades and officers of the US Capitol to get inside of the building, according to the affidavit.

FBI agents executed a search warrant on Reffitt’s home on Saturday at a time when he was home along with his wife and young daughter. His adult son arrived at the home when FBI agents were there.

Refitt’s son told FBI agents that he was home on Jan 8 when his father arrived home along with another man, and that his father said he had been at the US Capitol on Jan 6.

On Jan 11, Reffitt commented to his son that he had to “erase everything” because the FBI was now watching him. Reffitt also told his son that if he crossed the line and reported him to police, that would put the family in jeopardy and Reffitt would have no option but to do his duty to protect the country and “do what he had to do”, according to the complaint.

His son asked, “Are you threatening us?”

Reffitt answered, “Don’t put words in my mouth”, according to the complaint.

After that threat, Reffitt caught his daughter using her phone and told her that if she was recording him, meaning putting him on social media, that she had crossed the line and betrayed the family. He threatened to “put a bullet through” his daughter’s phone, the complaint says.

Reffitt’s son told FBI agents his father had a Smith & Wesson pistol and an AR-15 rifle.

In another threat, Reffitt told his son and daughter, “If you turn me in, you’re a traitor and you know what happens to traitors... traitors get shot,” according to the complaint.

His wife told FBI agents that she did not believe Reffitt would act on his words, and she, her daughter and son did not feel threatened, but they were “disturbed” by Reffitt’s “extreme” statements.

She “had words” with Reffitt and he did not regret or take anything back when he talked about traitors, according to the federal complaint. – Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service

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