Monday, September 25, 2023

Just weeks after Ammon Bundy was ordered to pay a Idaho hospital more than $50 million for defamation, the far-right provocateur is in legal trouble again—spurring deputies to arrest him at this son’s Friday night football banquet.

The Gem County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to multiple outlets that Bundy was arrested on an outstanding arrest warrant in Ada County. The warrant, which was filed in April, came after a judge found Bundy in contempt of court for failing to show up for legal proceedings related to the civil defamation lawsuit filed by St. Luke’s Health System.

In a video posted on Bundy’s social media, he is seen handcuffed and escorted by at least three law enforcement officers out of an Emmett High School football fundraiser as attendees boo from their dinner tables. Jail records show that he is currently in Gem County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

Jury Decides Ammon Bundy Must Pay More Than $50M for Defaming Hospital

Bundy’s latest arrest immediately sparked outrage amongst his supporters, several of whom were seen outside Gem County Jail holding signs and yelling. His official Twitter account urged supporters to “Gather at Gem County Sheriff’s office in Emmett if you can!”

On Friday, the hospital also filed a new lawsuit against Bundy, accusing him of hiding assets to “frustrate” the health care system’s efforts to collect their defamation damages. In the complaint, the health care system and other plaintiffs asked to void any transfers of property of assets made by Bundy and his family.

The arrest is also the latest legal development in Bundy’s ongoing battle with the hospital after he organized days of protests after claiming an associate’s grandson was kidnapped when in reality he was taken into protective custody after officials determined 10-month-old “Baby Cyrus” was malnourished.

The protests spurred authorities to arrest Bundy, then a gubernatorial candidate, for trespassing outside of the hospital last March. At the time, Bundy insisted that the infant was “medically kidnapped” over a “missed non-emergency doctor’s appointment.”

The allegations spurred St. Luke’s Hospital to file a defamation suit against Bundy and his associate, Diego Rodriguez. Rodriguez is the infant’s grandfather and an activist in Bundy’s far-right People’s Rights Network (PRN).

Last month, after a trial where Bundy was a consistent no-show throughout the legal proceedings, a jury concluded that Bundy, Rodriguez, and their company owe the hospital $26.5 million in compensatory damages and nearly $26 million in punitive damages for defamation. After a judge issued a default judgment against Bundy and Rodriguez for failing to respond to the lawsuit, Bundy put out an emergency alert claiming officers were at his home.

After the verdict, Bundy insisted in an interview with the Idaho Statesman he had no plans to turn over any assets or abide by any court decision.

“I owe St. Luke’s nothing,” Bundy told the outlet. “I plan on doing what I have been doing. Providing for my family and living life as much as normal.”

In a video statement, Bundy also discussed why he did not hire a team of attorneys to defend himself in court in the lawsuit—explaining his distrust in courts, which he believes diminishes individual rights, and that he does not plan to appeal the decision.

Since the verdict, Bundy has kept his promise to continue to live his life, but not without at least a little taunting about his pending arrest warrant. Online, he continued discussing the lawsuit and the multi-million-dollar verdict, his decision not to defend himself in court, and his allegations against St. Luke. In an Aug. 10 video posted on social media, Bundy even went as far as discussing all the things he has been doing instead of answering to his arrest warrant—including going to multiple states and Mexico.

“This idea that I am just holed up in my house and hiding behind a window sill with an AK-47 is just another great lie from our wonderful media,” Bundy said. “So, I just wanted to dispel that.”

But St. Luke’s hospital is not backing down. In another filing, the hospital has asked for a temporary restraining order to prevent Bundy from trying to impede on their attempts to collect court-ordered damages. The filing also asks to hinder Bundy from transferring ownership or any assets from his activist group, People’s Rights Network.

Previously, Bundy made public statements after selling his $1 million home in December in what the filing called a “sham transaction.” The filing states that the Bundys are still on the property.

“The jury trial in Ada County that ended with a $52M verdict against Mr. Bundy and the other defendants established that Mr. Bundy lied about the condition of an infant and lied about St. Luke’s and the other plaintiffs,” Erik Stidham, an attorney for St. Lukes, said in a statement to the Idaho Statesman. “In contrast to Mr. Bundy, who was too cowardly to show up for trial, three doctors and a nurse practitioner testified under oath that the infant could have died if he had not been taken into protective care.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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