Kenosha prosecutors seek arrest of Kyle Rittenhouse after he disappeared from last known address
Kenosha prosecutors asked Judge Bruce Schroeder on February 3 for a new arrest warrant for Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teen charged with shooting three people, killing two of them, during a protest over police brutality in Wisconsin after he apparently violated his bail conditions.
Rittenhouse violated his bond agreement by apparently moving out of his home without notifying the court. In the court filing, prosecutors said several attempts to contact the teenager had failed. The motion asks Judge Schroeder to issue an arrest warrant and increase Rittenhouse’s bail by $200,000.
On February 2, Kenosha police detectives visited the address Rittenhouse filed with the court after he posted a $2 million bond in November, only to be greeted at the door by a different person entirely. The man, who had no relation to Rittenhouse, said he had been living there since December 14.
Earlier court notices, mailed to the address in mid-December, had also bounced back. Under the terms of Rittenhouse’s bond, he is supposed to update his address with the court within 48 hours of moving.
“In a criminal case as serious as this one, it is critically important that the Court be able to monitor the defendant’s whereabouts at all times,” Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger wrote in the Kenosha County Circuit Court filing.
The prosecutors said in their motion that it was unusual for any homicide defendant to be allowed to roam freely and the court needs to know where Rittenhouse is at all times. They did not say whether they knew where Rittenhouse currently resides, saying only that he has failed to provide the court with a new address.
“He posted no money so he has no financial stake in the bond,” they wrote. “He is already facing the most serious possible criminal charges and life in prison, so in comparison, potential future criminal penalties are insignificant.”
Rittenhouse is charged with multiple counts, including homicide, in connection with the protests in August in Kenosha. The demonstrations began after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, who is Black, in the back during a domestic disturbance, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
Prosecutors allege Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, responded to a militia’s call on social media to protect Kenosha businesses from protesters. He opened fire with an assault-style rifle on Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskruetz. Rosenbaum and Huber were killed; Grosskruetz was wounded but survived.
Rittenhouse, who is white, fled to his home in Antioch, Illinois, but turned himself into police there the next day. Trump supporters rallied around him as a symbol for gun rights and escalated tensions by walking around the protest with a gun. Conservatives raised $2 million to cover his bail and he walked out of jail in November.
Last month Rittenhouse was seen drinking at a bar in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, and posing for photos with two men as they made “OK” signs with their hands, a symbol used by White Supremacists, according to prosecutors. Five men at the bar also serenaded Rittenhouse with a song that has become the anthem of Neo-Fascist group the Proud Boys who were just declared a terrorist group by Canada.
Rittenhouse is now 18 but still too young to drink. However, he could consume alcohol in a bar under Wisconsin law because he was with his mother. The judge ordered him not to have any contact with white supremacists after that episode.