Far-right activist Ammon Bundy was arrested Saturday at an Idaho hospital for trespassing, days before he will be tried for a similar crime, local police said.
Bundy – a candidate for governor in Idaho famous for leading an armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge in 2016 – was arrested after allegedly refusing to leave an Idaho hospital, according to the Meridian Police Department.
Bundy, alongside “several” followers, arrived at St. Luke’s Meridian and “refused to leave the property when asked to do so,” while protesting a child welfare case involving a 10-month-old, the department’s report said.
Following “several attempts” to persuade Bundy, 46, to leave, the Meridian Police Department said it arrested Bundy for trespassing. Police took Bundy to Ada County Jail, and he was charged with one count of misdemeanor trespassing. A 21-year-old and 23-year-old participant in the protest were also slapped with trespassing charges, according to Meridian police.
In a statementBundy claimed he was arrested “for the crime of disagreeing with the hospital and [Child Protective Services]. ”
“Make no mistake about it, this was an ambush arrest with no legal grounds,” he fumed in the statement posted on Twitter early Saturday morning.
The far-right candidate claimed the family’s baby was “medically kidnapped” and complained that their “parent rights” had been violated.
“Idaho must unite against medical tyranny and take back our rights,” he added.
Bundy’s protest came after the Meridian Police Department said it was told by medical personnel that a young child was taken to the hospital earlier in the month after the 10-month-old was “suffering from severe malnourishment.” The unnamed child was able to reach a healthy weight and the child was released to go home with their parents days later.
But authorities discovered during a subsequent visit that the baby “had again lost a significant amount of weight,” police said. When police visited the families’ home, the parents of the 10-month-old were “uncooperative” and did not allow officers to check on the tot.
After Meridian Police obtained a warrant to enter the home, they discovered the parents and the child had left, according to the police report. Garden City Police then found a vehicle driven by the father of the child and officers from the The Meridian Police Department took the apparently endangered child to St. Luke’s Meridian for medical attention, according to the Meridian police.
Saturday’s incident was not Bundy’s first recent arrest for trespassing.
In August 2020, Bundy was removed from the state’s Senate gallery and arrested at the Idaho statehouse and subsequent protests over proposed coronavirus legislation. That came after Bundy was detailed the day before after disrupting state lawmakers.
Bundy is scheduled to stand trial on Monday for the two misdemeanor trespassing charges for the stunts at the Idaho statehouse, according to reports.
Bundy last month announced he would instead run as an independent candidate for the November general election, after initially saying he would seek to win the Republican primary.