Bundy (04) — Attempted Range War
Law Vegas Review-Journal writes
“They gave him lunch and let him out,” Stetsy Cox, 21, told the
assembled group of relatives and sympathizers at a rally for the
embattled ranch family near the banks of the Virgin River.
downtown Las Vegas a short time later, Dave Bundy spoke to the media
about his arrest the day before in the federal roundup of his father’s
cattle from public land 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
37-year-old said heavily armed federal agents roughed him up and
arrested him for exercising his constitutional rights on a state highway
in northeast Clark County on Sunday.
“They got on their
loudspeaker and said that everyone needed to leave,” Dave Bundy said
during an impromptu news conference alongside his father outside a
7-Eleven on Las Vegas Boulevard. “I stood there and continued to express
my First Amendment right to protest, and they approached me and said
that if I didn’t leave, they’d arrest me.”
The younger Bundy said he was taking photographs and protesting peacefully at the time.
Collins, a spokeswoman for the Nevada U.S. attorney’s office, said
Bundy was cited on misdemeanor charges of “refusing to disperse” and
Earlier, BLM spokeswoman Kirsten Cannon said Bundy was taken into custody to “protect public safety and maintain the peace.”
Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service support the
public’s right to express opinions peacefully and lawfully. However, if
an individual threatens, intimidates or assaults another individual or
impedes the impoundment, they may be arrested in accordance with local,
state or Federal laws,” Cannon said in a statement.
Cliven Bundy viewed his son’s arrest differently.
happening is they had stole cattle from me, and now they have taken
their prisoner,” the father said. “Davey is a political prisoner. That’s
what you want to call him — he’s a political prisoner.”
sentiment appeared on several handmade protest signs at Monday’s rally,
which drew more than 100 people to a tract of private ranch land next to
the Riverside bridge on state Route 170.
The crowd gathered in
response to an announcement Cliven Bundy sent Sunday night, after his
son’s arrest, promising a range war and inviting the press to come cover
But Monday’s event wound up looking more like a barn-raising.
a prayer and some speeches, the group walked up a nearby hill and
gathered along the highway on land owned by one of Bundy’s neighbors.
There they erected two 50-foot flag poles topped with metal script
letters reading “We the People” and strung with a huge banner, the
American flag and the flags of Nevada and Clark County.
They plan to use this spot as a rallying point for daily protests.
As they worked, cattle trucks escorted by BLM patrol vehicles kicked up dust along dirt roads in the distance.
agents and contract cowboys — both on the ground and in the air, with
at least one helicopter — expected to spend the next month or so
rounding up Bundy’s herd, which could include more than 900 animals
scattered over a remote, 90-mile swath of mountains and desert south of
The BLM and the National Park Service have closed off public access to almost 600,000 acres of federal land for the roundup.
considers much of that public land to use as he sees fit, but the BLM
canceled his federal grazing permit 20 years ago after the rancher
refused to accept new land-use rules for protecting the threatened
desert tortoise and stopped paying his fees.
In the decades
since, Bundy has challenged or ignored repeated directives from the
government to remove his livestock from public land.
Two federal court orders issued within the last year authorized authorities to impound the “trespass cattle.”
The operation got underway Saturday morning and brought in 234 head of cattle through Monday.
Dave Bundy showed a Review-Journal reporter his scratched face and swollen, scraped hands while describing his arrest.
any further questions, two rangers surrounded and a third one
approached me, and they all jumped me, pulling different directions. And
then a couple other guys jumped in, and they took me to the ground,”
Dave Bundy said.
He said, “One ranger had had his knee on my
spine, and the other one was on my head with his knee on the side of my
head and his other knee on the back of my neck.”
maintains his arrest was improper because he was standing along the side
of Route 170 in a state right-of-way. BLM officials said the
right-of-way is under their jurisdiction and within an area their agency
had closed to the public.
When asked about Dave Bundy’s
allegations of mistreatment, federal officials pointed to the charges
for which he was cited, including resisting arrest.
was in Las Vegas early Monday to meet with Clark County Sheriff Doug
Gillespie, but it had nothing to do with his son’s arrest. Gillespie
said their meeting was arranged on Saturday.
Bundy wanted contact
information for Metro supervisors in his area, Gillespie said, and the
sheriff provided him the information. But Gillespie reiterated that the
Metropolitan Police Department has no plans to involve itself in the
“This is strictly a federal operation,” he said.
a statement released Monday, the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association also
distanced itself from Bundy and his livestock, noting that it supports
effective range management and cooperation among agencies to balance
ranching and the conservation of wildlife.
Though “sensitive and
concerned how the Bundy cattle confiscation situation has evolved,”
association leaders want no part of the dispute between the rancher and
the federal courts.
“Nevada Cattlemen’s Association does not feel
it is in our best interest to interfere in the process of adjudication
in this matter,” the association said.
Back at the rally, Bundy’s
immediate family members served Sloppy Joes for lunch and supplied
their supporters with cold drinks and popsicles. No firearms were
spotted in the crowd.
Margaret Houston, Cliven Bundy’s younger
sister, drove up from Logandale, at the southern edge of the temporary
closure area, to take part in the protest. She said she hates to see the
federal land outside her back door closed to the public while her
family’s livelihood is gathered up and trucked away.
“I grew up
on this ranch. This is what we knew,” she said. “It’s got nothing to do
with the cattle and the tortoises. It’s about taking our rights — power —
and it’s wrong.”
A few miles up the road, a “First Amendment
Area” the BLM set up for rallies like this stood empty, save for a few
signs attached to the outside of the orange plastic pen.
One of them read: “1st Amendment is not an area.”
I heard on Friday that the Feds snatched the son, beat him up, taped the beating and released the tape.
That part about the tape and the beating to send a message likely is not true.