'Traitors get shot': Texas man arrested over Capitol riots after his son tipped off FBI

Jackson Reffitt, 18, saw his father while watching live footage of Capitol riot - AP
Jackson Reffitt, 18, saw his father while watching live footage of Capitol riot - AP

A Texan teenager who tipped off the FBI about his father's alleged involvement in the Capitol riots said he would "do it again", despite claiming his father threatened to shoot him for being a "traitor".

Jackson Reffitt, 18, said he felt a moral obligation to report his father to the authorities after watching him participate in the violent riots on live TV.

His father, Guy, 48, was arrested at his home in Wylie, Texas on January 16 and faces charges of obstruction of justice and knowingly entering a restricted building.

According to court documents, Mr Reffitt had allegedly threatened his wife and children, saying: “If you turn me in, you’re a traitor and you know what happens to traitors … traitors get shot”.

The younger Mr Reffitt said he was "afraid" of what his father might think of him, but told local station Fox 4 that he had acted according to his "moral compass".

“[It was] what I thought would protect not only my family, but my dad himself,” he said.

Mr Reffitt added that while he felt "guilty" about turning his father in, he "would do it again.”

Mr Reffitt said his father was a member of the far-right militia group and had embraced radicalised views in recent years.

He said that he saw his father, dressed in a protective vest and black helmet, at the Capitol on January 6 while watching live coverage of the breach.

The younger Mr Reffitt said he had already reported his father to the FBI weeks before the riot, after his father told him he intended "to do something big”.

During his arrest, FBI agents discovered an AR-15 rifle and a pistol at his home. The elder Mr Reffitt told investigators that he had brought the pistol with him to Washington.

According to an affidavit obtained by local news outlets, the elder Mr Reffitt told his family that he went to the US capital "to protect the country".

When he returned home, he allegedly told them of his involvement in the storming of the Capitol. But when he learned law enforcement agents were attempting to track him down, he warned them not to report him, saying: "traitors get shot", court documents say.

His family said they did not believe he would act on his words, but were "disturbed" by the comments, according to court documents.

The elder Mr Reffitt told FBI agents that he was at the Capitol but did not go inside, the documents state.