GOP gubernatorial candidate arrested for trespassing during protest at hospital

Ammon Bundy, a conservative activist and Republican Idaho gubernatorial candidate, was arrested for trespass at an Idaho hospital on Saturday after he refused to leave the premises during a small protest.

Bundy, who is best known for an occupation of federal land in Oregon in 2016, showed up at the hospital in Meridian, Idaho in regards to a child welfare case, the Idaho Statesman reported.

The child was the grandson of Boise pastor Diego Rodriguez, a top Bundy supporter.

A spokesperson for the police department said Bundy was arrested at roughly 1:15 a.m. Saturday morning.

Police said the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare had referred a case to them involving a 10-month-old child.

On March 1, the child had been taken to the hospital; staff determined it was “suffering from severe malnourishment.”

The child was discharged in the care of his parents on March 4, police said.

The statement went on to say that at a follow-up appointment, “it was determined the child had again lost a significant amount of weight and when the parents canceled the next follow-up appointment and could not be located, the Meridian Police were contacted and advised this child’s condition could lead to severe injury or even death if not treated.”

Police said they had attempted to check on the 10-month old but that “the occupants were uncooperative and refused to let officers check on the child’s welfare.”

They said they received a warrant to enter and discovered the child and the parent weren’t there. The child’s parents were eventually stopped by police in nearby Garden City; the mother was arrested.

Bundy and several of his supporters came to the scene after the mother began livestreaming the traffic stop to Facebook. She had begged police to allow her to be with her child at the hospital.

A police officer told the mother she could hand over the 10-month-old and “go on your merry way” or “I remove him from you and you go to jail.”

The child was taken to St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center. Bundy and his supporters would meet there to have “boots on the ground … to demand that the baby have family present,” according to a text message sent to members of a citizen’s group organized by Bundy.

In a statement, Bundy called his arrest “an ambush arrest with no legal grounds.”

“We have just become such a pro-police state,” he told the Statesman during the protest.

“That child does not belong to the state,” he added. “That child belongs to their parents.”

Bundy was released on $325 bail and released at 4 a.m. Saturday. He appeared in court again on Monday, albeit on different trespassing charges — these related to a trespassing charge at the Idaho Capitol in April 2021.