Rebel activist Bandy arrested at Idaho State Capitol

Boise, Idaho (AP) — Rebel activist Ammon Bandy was arrested twice every two hours on Thursday on suspicion of trespassing on the Idaho State Capitol. Police said he returned to the Capitol building shortly after he escaped from prison in his first arrest.

It wasn’t immediately clear why Bandy was in the State Capitol.

This is the fourth and fifth time a man known for leading an armed standoff in the Oregon Wildlife Sanctuary has been arrested in Boise since August, with all but one arrested in the State Capitol. is.

Bandy was banished from government buildings in August after he and dozens of other people, many of whom are members of his human rights group, protested at the State Capitol on coronavirus-related measures. it was done.

In one of the protests, an angry, unmasked protester broke into a house gallery with limited seats and broke a glass door in the process. The next day, more than 100 protesters shouted and were forced by lawmakers on a committee considering a bill to protect businesses and government agencies from coronavirus-related responsibilities.

Bandy was arrested for trespassing when he refused to leave the room and was banished from the building for a year. He was arrested and charged again with trespassing the day after returning despite the ban.

The prosecutor eventually withdrew some of the charges related to the August case, and the rest of the allegations of trespassing are still moving forward in court, with Bandy representing himself.

He pleaded not guilty to the indictment, telling the court that he did not believe his actions were illegal. Last month, Bandy was arrested on a bench warrant for not appearing in court because he did not wear a mask to enter the Ada County Courthouse, as required by court rules. Last weekend, Bandy’s followers protested outside the courthouse and the judge’s house, condemning the proceedings against him.

A video shot by spectators when Bandy was first arrested at the State Capitol on Thursday shows a police officer in Idaho lifting Bandy from a wheeled cart and putting it in a police car. Bandy repeatedly asked police officers, “Which authorities are you arresting me?”

Idaho police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said police used a wheeled cart because Bandy refused to leave the building on his own. According to Hightower, the cart looks like an oversized jogging stroller, but it was purchased in recent months to allow police officers to safely transport uncooperative people at the time of their arrest.

When Bandy was arrested in August, soldiers put him in a rolling office chair and kicked him out of the building.

Bandy was booked and released with a $ 300 deposit, according to Ada County Prison records. Within two hours, he was re-imposed in prison for trespassing and resistance or sabotage of an officer, who was a minor offense, and was later released on a $ 600 bond.

Court records did not immediately indicate whether Bandy had acquired a lawyer in the latest case.

Bandy received international attention in 2016 when he led a group of armed activists under the occupation of the Maroo National Wildlife Sanctuary to protest the federal control of public land. He was eventually arrested and subsequently acquitted of all federal crimes in that case.

In 2014, Bandy, several brothers, and his father led an armed standoff in Nevada, along with a Bureau of Land Management agent who attempted to confiscate his father’s cattle for grazing on public land without permission. did. He was under federal control for almost two years before the judge later declared an illegal trial.