Chicago-area CEO fired after being charged in U.S. Capitol riots

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An Inverness man is among 13 people charged in federal court in the District of Columbia following the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

Bradley Rukstales faces three federal charges stemming from the incident, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Rukstales was one of the people arrested by police after a group of domestic terrorists stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.

Rukstales was a CEO of Schaumburg-based tech company Cogensia. A spokesperson for Cogensia said Rukstales was terminated Friday, effective immediately.

Joel Schlitz, senior vice president and Chief Operating Officer of Cogensia has been named Acting CEO in the interim.

“This decision was made because Rukstales’ actions were inconsistent with the core values of Cogensia. Cogensia condemns what occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, and we intend to continue to embrace the values of integrity, diversity and transparency in our business operations, and expect all employees to embrace those values as well,” Schlitz said in a statement.

On Thursday night, Brad Rukstales apologized and issued the following statement:

“In a moment of extremely poor judgment following the January 6 rally in Washington, I followed hundreds of others through an open set of doors to the Capitol building to see what was taking place inside. I was arrested for the first time in my life and charged with unlawful entry.

My decision to enter the Capitol was wrong, and I am deeply regretful to have done so. Without qualification and as a peaceful and law-abiding citizen, I condemn the violence and destruction that took place in Washington.

I offer my sincere apologies to the men and women of law enforcement for my indiscretion, and I deeply regret that my actions have brought embarrassment to my family, colleagues, friends and fellow countrymen.

It was the single worst personal decision of my life; I have no excuse for my actions and wish that I could take them back.”

While officials are still making arrests, 13 people have been charged with federal crimes and 40 have been charged in Superior Court with offenses such as curfew violations and firearms related crimes.

“The lawless destruction of the U.S. Capitol building was an attack against one of our Nation’s greatest institutions,” Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said.

“My office, along with our law enforcement partners at all levels, have been expeditiously working and leveraging every resource to identify, arrest and begin prosecuting these individuals who took part in the brazen criminal acts at the U.S. Capitol. We are resolute in our commitment to holding accountable anyone responsible for these disgraceful criminal acts, and to anyone who might be considering engaging in or inciting violence in the coming weeks – know this: you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Sherwin said.

The full list of the individuals charged can be found below:

  1. Cleveland Meredith was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with making interstate threats to Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  2. Richard Barnett, of Arkansas, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and theft of public money, property, or records. Barnett allegedly entered a restricted are of the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
  3. Lonnie Coffman, of Alabama, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with possession of an unregistered firearm (destructive device) and carrying a pistol without a license. It is alleged that Coffman’s vehicle contained 11 explosive devices known as Molotov cocktails and firearms. It is further alleged he was in possession of two firearms. Coffman was arrested and is currently being held. His detention hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2021.
  4. Mark Leffingwell, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; assault on a federal law enforcement officer; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Leffingwell allegedly entered the Senate side of the Capitol and when stopped by law enforcement, struck an officer in the helmet and chest. Leffingwell is currently being held and has a detention hearing in district court today.
  5. Christopher Alberts, of Maryland, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with carrying or having readily accessible, on the grounds of the United States Capitol Building, a firearm and ammunition. Specifically a Taurus G2C, 9mm handgun and 9mm caliber ammunition. The defendant appeared in district court and was released. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 28, 2021.
  6. Joshua Pruitt, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. The defendant appeared in district court and was released. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 28, 2021.
  7. Matthew Council, of Florida, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Council allegedly unlawfully entered the Capitol building, and when stopped by law enforcement, he pushed the officer.
  8. Cindy Fitchett, of Virginia, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with 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 violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.  
  9. Michael Curzio, of Florida, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with 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 violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 
  10. Douglas Sweet, of Florida, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with 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 violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 
  11. Bradley Rukstales, of Illinois, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with 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 violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 
  12. Terry Brown, of Pennsylvania, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with 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 violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 
  13. Thomas Gallagher was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with 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 violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

The cases are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and are being investigated jointly by the FBI; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; United States Marshals Service; U.S. Capitol Police Department; and the Metropolitan Police Department.

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