Feds want former suburban CEO to serve 45 days for role in U.S. Capitol breach
An attorney for Bradley Rukstales asked a judge for probation, calling his client’s regret and remorse “sincere and genuine.”
Federal prosecutors want a former Schaumburg CEO who pleaded guilty to his role in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach to serve 45 days behind bars, telling a judge “there were signs of a violent riot everywhere, and he willingly joined it.”
But an attorney for Bradley Rukstales of Inverness asked the judge for probation, calling his client’s regret and remorse “sincere and genuine,” and noting that Rukstales was forced to quickly leave his job and sell his ownership stake in a company “he launched and loved.”
“That day, I made a terrible decision by entering the Capitol,” Rukstales wrote in a letter to the judge. “As someone who has great respect for the law, police, and our public servants, I am deeply embarrassed and sorry for my actions.”
Rukstales in August became the first known defendant from Illinois to plead guilty to his role in the breach. He lost his job as CEO of the Schaumburg tech firm Cogensia after he was charged in January. His sentencing is set for Nov. 12.
New details about Rukstales’ conduct surfaced when he pleaded guilty, including that Rukstales threw a chair in the direction of officers who had retreated and formed a defensive line, and that Rukstales had to be brought to the ground and arrested after ignoring commands to leave.
Prosecutors included surveillance images of Rukstales in a memo filed Thursday, in which they wrote that Rukstales “remained in the thick of that bedlam” and “made a spectacle of himself by throwing a chair in the direction of police officers.” They wrote that three officers were needed to arrest him.
“The rioters’ ability to overtake law enforcement on January 6 was a result of law enforcement being dramatically outnumbered,” they wrote. “Rukstales directly contributed to that by necessitating at least three officers to get him under control.”
In his letter to the judge, Rukstales wrote that, “without getting into the details of my political beliefs and ideology, it is important for the court to understand that I believe in civic engagement.”
“It is also fair to say that I was personally frustrated and concerned with our country’s political discourse after the 2020 election,” he wrote. “When I learned about the rally on January 6, it seemed to me that momentum was growing, and that the event would be an important constitutional moment in our republic’s history. That is why I came to Washington, D.C., on that day, and brought my family.”
He said he hoped, as he approached a Capitol door, that there would be a legitimate reason to enter “but I knew that it was not right.” He also wrote that “being thrust into a public discourse as a quiet, private person has been devastating.”
“Your honor,” he wrote, “I can say — clearly — that I should not have gone to the Capitol on January 6, and should not have allowed my emotions to get the better of me.”