Authorities were on alert after followers of militia leader Ammon Bundy got a mass text message following a judge ruling against him in his ongoing legal battle with a hospital on Monday.
The message claimed that Bundy was "surrounded" by law enforcement and summoned followers to his Idaho home. According to The Daily Beast, the home was not under siege, but the message sparked fears that another Bundy-style showdown with the government could be on the way.
"Bundy is the leader of the People’s Rights Network (PRN), a right-wing activist hub that boasts of its ability to mobilize members on a moment’s notice via its alert system. While running a doomed gubernatorial campaign in 2022, Bundy led the PRN in a protest of St. Luke’s Hospital in Meridian, Idaho, temporarily putting the facility in lockdown while Bundy trespassed on its property," The Beast's report stated. "St. Luke’s later sued Bundy and his associates, accusing them of a defamation campaign that led to death threats against the hospital’s staff. Bundy has been openly uncooperative in the case, skipping court and even threatening charges against people who delivered legal papers to his house."
Idaho’s Gem County Sheriff says he's backed off trying to serve Bundy with papers because he thinks there's "potential" for someone "getting hurt." The Sheriff ultimately served the papers after St. Luke’s Hospital in Meridian complained.
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Bundy has not been arrested, and has released a series of YouTube videos attacking his opponents -- some videos that probably aren't helping his case. "On Monday, a judge issued a default ruling in St. Luke’s favor, due to Bundy’s failure to appear in court or respond to the lawsuit. The judge also ruled that Bundy and his co-defendants must sit for a deposition by May 24," The Beast reported.
“EMERGENCY ALERT,” read one of the mass messages. “Ammon Bundys home in idaho is currently surrounded by law enforcement. He is calling for people to come to his aid.” The message went on to list the phone number for the Gem County Sheriff, which followers were told to call “and let them know this is not OK.”
Bundy is known for a pair of armed standoffs against federal law enforcement in 2014 and 2016. In a December video, he suggested that he's willing to take up a gun in his case against St. Luke.
Read the full report over at The Daily Beast.