A former tech company CEO pleaded guilty Tuesday after admitting to throwing a chair toward police during the Capitol insurrection, but telling a judge he was "careful" with it and didn't aim at "any individual."
Bradley Rukstales, who was fired as CEO of Cogensia in the wake of the insurrection, faces up to six months in prison after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of parading, demonstrating or picketing inside a Capitol building.
"I was very careful when I was with the chair to make sure that nobody was within striking distance," Rukstales told U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols during his plea hearing, according to a report from Adam Klasfeld at Law & Crime.
WUSA Channel 9 investigative reporter Scott MacFarlane, who also attended the plea hearing, reported that "Rukstales was taken to ground by an officer near (the) defensive line of police on Jan. 6, per plea agreement. Rukstales will be asked to formally acknowledge he KNEW he did not have permission to be in Capitol on Jan 6."
"Rukstales acknowledges throwing a chair on Jan 6, but tells the judge he didn't throw it 'at any individual' ... and argues he was 'careful' with it," MacFarlane reported. "Judge instructs him that such an argument is more relevant at SENTENCING, not a plea hearing."
Rukstales acknowledges throwing a chair on Jan 6, but tells the judge he didn't throw it "at any individual".. and… https://t.co/zuu2w5LfR4— Scott MacFarlane (@Scott MacFarlane) 1630419568.0
MacFarlane also noted that while Rukstales faces up to six months in jail, most defendants who've pleaded guilty to the same charge have received more lenient sentences.
On the day after the riot, Rukstales posted a statement on Twitter calling his participation the "single worst decision" of his life.
"It was great to see a whole bunch of people together in the morning and hear the speeches, but it turned into chaos," Rukstales told Chicago's CBS affiliate, during an interview in the wake of his arrest, outside his upscale suburban home.
"Online campaign contributions show Rukstales donated more than $28,000 to Republican causes – including $12,000 to President Trump through various committees," the station reported.
Read Rukstales statement and watch the report below.