Schroder, an enthusiastic fan of gun ownership and 30-year NRA member, said throughout an exclusive telephone interview that he’s paying “hundreds of thousands” of dollars for the bond and the 17-year-old’s legal defense as he awaits trial on murder charges in the deaths of two demonstrators and the wounding of a third on Aug. 25.
“It made me mad,” Schroder said. “This boy is innocent and he will be proven innocent. I did what any father should’ve done, and that’s get a kid out of jail that doesn’t deserve to be there.”
With a supposedly illegally acquired rifle, Rittenhouse joined an armed militia group in Wisconsin city to guard businesses against looting amid unrest stemming from the police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back through a domestic disturbance.
“He wasn’t there to stop the protests,” Schroder said. “He was there to defend property from chaos.”
The teenager was being held in jail until last week when Schroder, MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, and others raised the money for his bond.
Schroder said Rittenhouse’s situation struck a nerve — he felt abused by the media as well after his arrest in May 2019 for supposedly punching his longtime girlfriend, a case that was later dropped.
“It sucked because everybody thought I was a woman beater, and I’m not a woman beater,” he said. “I was tried and convicted in the court of the media. But you have to understand, that’s only my reputation that was being destroyed.”
“This was Kyle’s life being destroyed,” Schroder said. “This is his freedom at risk. It infuriated me to see an innocent 17-year-old young man being tried and found guilty before trial.”/p>
Rittenhouse’s lawyer has insisted he acted in self-defense.
Schroder has been attacked by critics on social media since word of his role in the teen’s release went public, urging him to report the digital threats and insults to police.
He said Tuesday that all of the threats were on social media, and said many included threats to go to his home in LA. For example, Twitter was inundated with tweets using the hashtag #RickySchroder in recent days.
“When people talk about coming to my home is when they get my attention,” he said.