Ammon Bundy Arrested After He Spurns Face Mask, Misses Trial

Far-right anti-government activist wasn't allowed in courthouse because he wouldn't don face covering
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2021 8:53 AM CDT
Ammon Bundy's Anti-Mask Stance Gets Him Arrested Again
Anti-government activist Ammon Bundy, wearing a cowboy hat, yells through the closed Ada County Courthouse door at law enforcement officers inside on Monday.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Boone)

Ammon Bundy was arrested in August 2020 and charged with trespassing and resisting arrest after he helped storm Idaho's Capitol during a legislative session to protest coronavirus safety protocols, including his state's mask mandate. Now he's been arrested again, this time tied to another mask-related incident. The Washington Post reports the 45-year-old right-wing anti-government activist was set to appear before Judge David Manweiler on Monday regarding last summer's trespassing charges, but he never made it inside the Ada County Courthouse in Boise, as he was held up by officers who told him he had to put on a face covering before he could enter the building. "It's illegal! It's completely unconstitutional! It's against the law!" Bundy reportedly yelled as he was denied entrance. He's also said to have told one of the officers guarding the site, "Listen, you are breaking the law. ... They have faulty charges and ... I have a right to defend myself."

This apparently went on for hours, causing Bundy and another maskless man, 42-year-old Aaron von Schmidt, to miss their trials. Manweiler then issued a warrant for their arrests for failure to appear (a misdemeanor), and when he and Schmidt were asked to go voluntarily with a deputy, they refused. Bundy even laid on the ground, while other protesters who'd gathered linked arms to make it harder for deputies to reach the men, per an Ada County Sheriff's Office release. The release adds it took "several deputies to get both men into custody." NBC News notes that last fall, Bundy—who led armed standoffs against the feds in both 2014 and 2016—also caused his son's football game on a high school campus to end prematurely at halftime because he refused to don a mask and caused a stir. Both Bundy and von Schmidt are now in Ada County Jail on $10,000 bonds. (Read more Ammon Bundy stories.)

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