Guy Wesley Reffitt is the Texas man who made headlines after his teenage children told investigators Reffitt threatened to shoot them if they turned him over to the FBI. According to the criminal complaint, Reffitt initially boasted to his family about being at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 in order to “protect the country.” But a few days later, Reffitt became concerned the FBI was “watching” him and warned his children not to say anything about his role that day.
Reffitt was arrested on January 16 and faces a federal charge for obstruction of justice. As of this writing, he remained behind bars at the Fannin County Jail, inmate records show. Reffitt does not yet have a defense attorney listed on his case, according to a search of federal court records.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The FBI Identified Reffitt From Video Footage of the Capitol Riot
There is video footage of Reffitt outside the Capitol building on January 6, according to the criminal complaint. He was filmed wearing a “blue jacket over what appears to be a black padded or tactical-style vest, and he has a black helmet on his head with what appears to be a Go-Pro-style camera attached.” Footage depicting Reffitt was shared online by Reuters on January 6 and aired on Fox News at Night With Shannon Bream the following day, according to the complaint.
Reffitt does not appear to have gone inside the Capitol but was stationed “at or past the police line protecting the building” when the demonstration turned violent. The criminal complaint further specifies Reffitt was standing “on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building, on the north staircase, between the Lower West Terrace and the Middle Landing of the Lower West Terrace.”
The FBI special agent who prepared the affidavit wrote that the footage shows Reffitt using a water bottle to clean his eyes. The agent noted that demonstrators and law enforcement officials had sprayed “chemical irritants” in the crowd and it appeared Reffitt had been hit in the eyes.
According to the criminal complaint, the FBI agent identified Reffitt by comparing the images from the Capitol to Reffitt’s driver’s license photo. Reffitt’s cell phone provided additional evidence: “GPS data associated with REFFITT’s cell phone places the phone on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C., and specifically near the area of the U.S. Capitol Building,” the complaint explains.
2. Reffitt’s Son, Jackson, Says He Blames President Trump for ‘Manipulating’ His Father & Has Since Revealed He Alerted the FBI About His Father Weeks Before the Capitol Riot
FBI agents executed a search warrant at Reffitt’s home in Wylie, Texas, on January 16. The affidavit states that Reffitt admitted to the agents that he had been at the Capitol but did not go inside. He also told the agents he had brought a “Smith & Wesson pistol” with him but “had disassembled it to comply with the law in Washington, D.C.”
According to the criminal complaint, Reffitt’s wife and teenage daughter were present during the search warrant. Reffitt’s 18-year-old son, Jackson, came over to the house while the search was underway. Reffitt’s son told the FBI agents that on January 8 and “in the ensuing days,” Reffitt had talked about how he had gone to Washington, D.C. to “protect the country” and that Reffitt had said, “we stormed the Capitol.” Jackson Reffitt added that his father had “recorded some of the events on his Go-Pro camera” that he’d strapped to his helmet.
Jackson Reffitt told NBC station KXAS-TV that he blames President Donald Trump for inspiring his father’s actions and believed the president had “manipulated even my own family members.” The teen said Guy Reffitt bought into Trump’s unfounded claim that the election had been stolen from him. When asked about the relationship with his father, Jackson Reffitt told the TV station, “I love him, but I hate him.”
Jackson Reffitt has since revealed that he called the FBI about his father weeks before the January 6 riot. He told the New York Times, “[My father] would always tell me that he’s going to do something big. I assumed he was going to do something big, and I didn’t know what.” As the newspaper reported, it was unclear whether federal investigators took any actions against Guy Reffitt before January 6.
3. Reffitt Warned His Children That ‘Traitors Get Shot’ & Threatened to ‘Put a Bullet Through’ His Daughter’s Phone if She Posted on Social Media About Him
Reffitt’s son told investigators that by January 11, Guy Reffitt started to express concern that the FBI was watching him. According to the criminal complaint, Reffitt warned his teenage son that he would take action if they turned him over to the police:
REFFITT further told Son that if Son crossed the line and reported REFFITT to the police, putting the family in jeopardy, REFFITT would have no option but to do REFFITT’s duty for REFFITT’s country, and “do what he had to do.” Son asked REFFITT words to the effect of, “Are you threatening us?” REFFITT responded with words to the effect of, “Don’t put words in my mouth.” Son understood REFFITT’s statements to be a threat to Son’s life.
Reffitt also warned his daughter not to record him with her phone or post his comments on social media. According to the complaint, Reffitt told his daughter he would “put a bullet through” her phone.
The teenagers spoke with their mother about what had happened. She told the FBI agents that, according to her children, Reffitt had threatened them by stating: “If you turn me in, you’re a traitor and you know what happens to traitors… traitors get shot.” Reffitt’s wife said she did not believe Reffitt would ever follow through on such a threat but said all three of them were “disturbed” by Reffitt’s “extreme” statements.
Reffitt’s wife said she spoke with her husband and told him he could not talk to their children in that manner. The complaint details Reffitt’s alleged response:
Spouse provided the following information: Spouse “had words” with REFFITT about what REFFITT had said to Son and Daughter. REFFITT repeated to Spouse what REFFITT had said to Son and Daughter about traitors. REFFITT did not indicate regret or take anything back. Spouse told REFFITT that REFFITT could not say things like that to Son and Daughter because REFFITT was essentially saying REFFITT would kill them. At that, REFFITT told Spouse words to the effect of, “he was trying to protect the family, and if someone was a traitor then that’s what’s going to happen.
4. Reffitt Was Part of a ‘Three Percenters’ Organization, According to His Wife
According to the criminal complaint, Reffitt’s wife told investigators her husband was a member of a “3%er” organization. The FBI added a note on the affidavit to explain how the law enforcement agency defines three percenters:
Upon information and belief, militia extremists sometimes call themselves three percenters (“III%ers” or “threepers”) based on the myth that only three percent of American colonists took up arms against the British during the American Revolution. Some III%ers regard the present-day US Government as analogous to British authorities during the Revolution in terms of infringements on civil liberties. While many independent or multi-state militia groups incorporate III% in their unit names, the term is less indicative of membership in a single overarching group than it is representative of a common belief in the notion that a small force with a just cause can overthrow a tyrannical government if armed and prepared.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the “Three Percenter” idea gained traction in 2008 and inspired some believers to form militia groups. The Observer reported in 2017 that when historians counted the estimated number of people who fought in the Continental Army, plus those who fought with local militias against the British and participated in navies and as privateers, the real percentage is anywhere between 15% and 25%.
5. Reffitt Has a Degree in Engineering & Recently Launched a Private Security Business
Reffitt’s son told KXAS-TV that his father “worked in the oil business” and had recently been trying to get a private security company off the ground.
Reffitt launched TTP Security Services in October 2020. He wrote on LinkedIn that his company would provide “Personal protection (VIP Services)” and “Event Security” for “Corporate, Film and Music” events. Reffitt asked friends and family for donations on GoFundMe to help fund the company but as of this writing, the page had not raised any money.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Reffitt has a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology from the University of Canterbury. His resume includes time spent working for various oil drilling companies. Reffitt’s noted on his LinkedIn profile that his oil and gas work experience had also included work overseas in Saudi Arabia, the South China Sea and Vietnam.
Reffitt was most recently associated with a company called Texsun Exteriors, according to his LinkedIn account. But Texsun Exteriors posted a statement on its website distancing itself from Reffitt without mentioning him by name. The statement reads:
NOTICE: This afternoon, it has been brought to our attention that one of our previous subcontractors has been arrested and implicated in the US Capitol riot on 1/6/2021. At this time, the independent contractor who has been accused is not currently associated with our company.
Texsun is family owned and operated. We work with several independent contractors that are self-employed. We do not condone violence nor support anyone that does. We strongly condemn this person’s actions.