Far-right anti-government militant Ammon Bundy was arrested in Idaho on August 11th on an outstanding warrant related to a lawsuit against him. Bundy, known for his standoffs with federal law enforcement in 2014 and 2016, had been avoiding the legal proceedings in the case over the past year. The arrest was made by the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.
The lawsuit against Bundy was filed by Idaho’s St Luke’s Health System, which accused him of defamation. Bundy had falsely claimed that the hospital network was involved in kidnapping and child trafficking. A video posted on Bundy’s social media shows him being led away in handcuffs from his son’s high school football fundraiser.
Last month, a jury ruled against Bundy by default and ordered him to pay $26 million as part of a broader judgment in the case. In April, he was charged with contempt of court for failing to appear in court. He was subsequently booked into the Gem County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
Bundy posted a video on social media earlier this week stating that he had been traveling while avoiding the warrant. He refuted claims that he was hiding in his house with an AK-47 and said that law enforcement had not served him legal papers on his property due to concerns for officers’ safety. However, Gem County sheriff’s deputies arrested him the following day.
Supporters of Bundy gathered outside the county jail, demanding his release. A spokesperson for the hospital stated that Bundy is likely avoiding paying the bond in order to further a false narrative that he is a martyr. St Luke’s lawyer Erik Stidham called Bundy a grifter who is attempting to avoid paying damages and facing contempt charges.
Bundy has consistently denied any wrongdoing and has stated that he will not turn over any assets or acknowledge the jury’s decision. He plans to appeal the verdict. The hospital has filed a new complaint accusing Bundy of hiding his assets to hinder attempts to collect damages.
Overall, Bundy’s arrest comes after a long-running legal battle and highlights the ongoing controversies surrounding his activities.