CEDAR CITY – A 13-year-old girl was left to her own care Tuesday afternoon when 42-year-old Ryan Bundy, son of Nevada “Range War” crusader Cliven Bundy, appeared in Iron County Justice Court for a nuisance citation Tuesday and was arrested on an unrelated warrant.
On her own
Though he owns property in Cedar City, Ryan Bundy said, his family has been living in Bunkerville, Nevada, for some time. This meant he had to travel to Cedar City from Nevada to be present for Tuesday’s hearing.
As a way of spending extra quality time together, Ryan Bundy said, he brought his 13-year-old daughter along on the trip, expecting the proceeding would be an in-and-out event. Unfortunately for Bundy and his daughter, that was not the case. Instead, he was taken into custody for refusing to enter a plea in an unrelated case of animal interference – leaving the young teen to fend for herself until he was released from the Iron County Jail on Wednesday.
Though the family now lives primarily in Bunkerville, Bundy’s daughter still attends online school through the Iron County School District, which requires her to attend occasional classes in person. Bundy said his daughter was at school when the courthouse events occurred and prevented him from picking her up.
“We don’t have a house up there (in Cedar City) anymore that is in livable condition,” Bundy said. “So, now they throw me in jail, they want to arrest me and throw me in jail, and leave my daughter high and dry without a ride, without a place to stay, and, you know, in the cold.”
The Bundy’s Cedar City house was emptied of furnishings before the family moved back to Bunkerville, he said, so it was not a habitable environment for his daughter to go to after he was taken to jail, having no beds to sleep in and no food in the cupboards or refrigerator.
Bundy said he chose not to tell the officers that his daughter was in town with him because he was afraid if he did, they would put her into the state system while he was in jail. He said he wasn’t about to let that happen.
“My daughter luckily found a benevolent neighbor and she stayed with that neighbor through the night,” Bundy said. “(If I told authorities about my daughter), then what are they going to do? They’re going to call child protective services and then what kind of can of worms would that have opened?”
Bundy said he had all the confidence in the world that his daughter would be taken care of because there are a lot of friends in the community who care about his family, and word travels fast as lighting in such a small town.
“I wouldn’t have told (authorities) where she was, or how old she was, or who she was, or her name or anything,” Ryan Bundy said. “I wouldn’t have let that information out; I would’ve rather her fend for herself than to let her into the hands of more government.”
According to court documents, the citation Ryan Bundy was in court for Tuesday was issued Oct. 8, 2013, for responsibility for a nuisance, a class B misdemeanor. Though the citation was issued in 2013, charges remained unfiled until Oct. 31, 2014. Tuesday was Bundy’s first appearance for the charge, and he pleaded “not guilty.”
The citation Ryan Bundy was arrested for, however, was issued on March 24, 2014, according to court documents. He was scheduled to make his first appearance for that citation on June 17, 2014. The charge was for interference with an officer (animal), a class B misdemeanor. When Bundy failed to appear on June 17, judge Brent Dunlap issued a warrant for his arrest.
The warrant was still active when Bundy appeared in court Tuesday, but he said he had no recollection of ever having received the citation in the first place. He said he also wasn’t clear on where the nuisance charge had come from that he was in court for that day.
Judge Margaret Miller gave Bundy the opportunity to enter a plea regarding the animal charge Tuesday, but Bundy said he refused to enter a plea on a charge he was previously unaware of. He said he was completely blindsided by the whole thing so he asked for more information, but officers arrested him, instead.
Ryan Bundy did not go easily, Iron County Sheriff’s Sgt. Charles Triplett said.
“He basically had his arms, and was holding them together, and he wouldn’t let them handcuff him,” Triplett said. “… He really wasn’t fighting; he just wasn’t compliant at all.”
Bundy’s noncompliance led police to cite him with an additional class B misdemeanor charge for interfering with an arresting officer, court documents reported.
Tuesday’s incident is indicative of a broken governmental system, Ryan Bundy said. He said the government’s agenda takes precedence over the real lives of the citizens they are elected to serve.
“I believe a person has rights,” he said. “(They) can’t just suspend those rights and load you up in jail while you think about something.”
A horse tale
On March 22, a horse was found roaming the streets near Bulldog Road in Cedar City, Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack said. The animal was brought to the Cedar City Animal Shelter until the owner could be found. The horse was fed and corralled, he said, but when workers showed up the next day, the horse was missing.
While on patrol, a Cedar City Police officer saw the missing horse in a corral on private Cedar City property, he said. After investigating the address to find the property owner, CCPD determined the residence belonged to Ryan Bundy.
According to the report filed the day the citation was issued, Womack said, Ryan Bundy signed the citation but refused to accept it – leaving the officer no choice but to leave the citation by sliding it through Bundy’s window.
“That’s not necessarily my horse,” Ryan Bundy said of the incident. “That’s the problem. They want to throw a ticket like that at me. They don’t have any identification on who this horse belonged to.”
Even if it was his horse, he said, he didn’t understand what was wrong with an owner retrieving his lost property.
Ultimately, he denied any knowledge of receiving a citation in connection with the incident.
“I did not receive any citation,” he said.
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