High-profile militant Jon Ritzheimer flees home to Arizona hours before feds spring trap
One of the most prominent Oregon militants fled home before his comrades were shot, arrested or scattered during an apparent ambush by law enforcement officers.
Jon Ritzheimer, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who has gained a high profile for his anti-Muslim rallies and threats against government officials, shared a series of Facebook posts that indicated he’d left the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and returned home.
“FYI. I came home to AZ to visit my family,” Ritzheimer posted late Tuesday. “The feds know I am here and are charging me with Conspiracy to impede a federal officer. I need an attorney. My family needs help and I am hoping they grant me bail.”
That’s the same charge that law enforcement officers have lodged against seven other militants, including Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy and Ryan Payne.
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The FBI issued a statement early Wednesday saying the 32-year-old Ritzheimer had turned himself in and was arrested without incident.
“Ritzheimer faces one federal felony charge of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 372,” the FBI said in a statement.
The militant also shared a video of his reunion with his two young daughters, but he warned them “daddy has to go away for awhile.”
“I came home to visit my family,” Ritzheimer said in a comment on the Facebook video. “The Feds know I am here and are asking me to turn myself in. I need an attorney so I can get back to my girls. Please help my family. Donations can be made at www.rogueinfidel.com to help with legal fees. Thank you all in advance. I just want the country to live by the Constitution and I just want the government to abide by it.”
Ritzheimer’s close friend, Blaine Cooper, apparently vowed to a talk radio host close to the militants — Pete Santilli — that he would not be taken alive.
That alarmed Santilli — who pointed out that women and children were at the wildlife refuge.