After a nearly three-hour standoff outside the Ada County Courthouse, as dozens of protesters chanted “Let him in!” and “There is no mask mandate!,” the Idaho rancher was arrested along with three others.
Bundy, 45, faces a new charge of failing to appear in front a judge, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Bundy, who is representing himself in his criminal case, did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s messages as of early Tuesday.
Bundy became a prominent figure on the far right in 2014 when he led an armed standoff with federal agents who sought to seize his father’s cattle from a public plot of land near his Nevada ranch. He was charged along with more than a dozen others with using “force, threats and intimidation” to stop federal agents from performing their duties. The charges were later dismissed.
Last year, Bundy, who publicly opposed Idaho’s mask mandate and stay-at-home order, led a two-day protest at the Idaho Capitol that culminated with dozens of maskless protesters charging into the statehouse as lawmakers convened for a special session to discuss the pandemic. Bundy, who refused to leave the building, was arrested the following day and rolled out of the statehouse’s auditorium in a swivel chair. He was later charged with two misdemeanors including trespassing, as well as resisting and obstructing officers.
He pleaded not guilty to those charges and was scheduled to appear in front of Judge David Manweiler for a trial Monday.
But Bundy never stepped foot inside the courtroom. He spent the morning arguing with officers posted by the doors of the Ada County Courthouse, who repeatedly explained he would not be allowed in unless he sported a mask.
“It’s illegal! It’s completely unconstitutional!” Bundy yelled through the revolving door at an officer inside the lobby. “It’s against the law!”
Bundy later told one of the officers: “Listen, you are breaking the law. I will hold you personally accountable. … They have faulty charges and I’m coming to defend myself. I have a right to defend myself.”
Aaron von Schmidt, 42, who also faces misdemeanor charges in connection with the state capitol protests, also refused to wear a mask inside.
The clash went on for hours until the judge issued a warrant for their arrest for failing to appear.
“Both Bundy and [von] Schmidt were at the courthouse Monday morning but refused to participate in the mask mandate required to enter the building, so they did not show up for their trials,” the Ada County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Monday.
Soon after the judge issued the warrant, deputies with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office asked the men to turn themselves in. Instead, Bundy laid on the ground and refused to move, police said.
A group of protesters then locked their arms in an attempt to block the arrests, according to police. It took several officers to arrest both men.
They were each charged with misdemeanors and taken to Ada County Jail. Police arrested two other men for resisting and obstructing officers during a physical confrontation outside the courthouse.
As of early Tuesday, Bundy and von Schmidt remained in jail pending a $10,000 bond, jail records showed, and their previous $600 bonds were forfeited.