Prosecutors in Wisconsin filed a motion Wednesday asking a judge to forbid Kyle Rittenhouse from drinking alcohol or entering bars, flashing “White supremacist signs” and spending time with Proud Boys members while on release on a $2 million bond for allegedly killing two people and wounding a third in Kenosha during violent anti-police protests last summer.
The Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office put in a request that the terms of his bond agreement be altered on Wednesday – just over a week after Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Ill., pleaded not guilty to homicide and other charges connected to the Aug. 25 shooting in Kenosha.
About an hour and a half after his arraignment on Jan. 5, Rittenhouse, 18, who was accompanied by his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, and several other adults, arrived at a bar called Pudgy’s Pub in Mount Pleasant, Wisc., wearing a shirt that read: “Free As F***,” according to copy of the motion obtained by Fox News.
Rittenhouse posed for photos and flashed the “OK” sign, “which has been co-opted as a sign of ‘White power’ by known White supremacist groups,” the motion states. He also was served and drank three beers during the 90-minute period he was inside the bar – which is legal because Wisconsin state law allows adults under age 21 to drink alcohol in bars if accompanied by a parent.
Within a few minutes of entering the bar, Rittenhouse was loudly serenaded by five of the adult males in his group with the song “Proud of Your Boy,” an obscure song written for the 1992 Disney film “Aladdin,” the motion said. Prosecutors argued the “violent white supremacist group called the ‘Proud Boys’ was named after this song, which is sung by its members as an anthem and for self-identification.”
“The Proud Boys have been involved in several extremist rallies and movements, and multiple Proud Boys members have been arrested for various assaultive crimes. Indeed, members of the Proud Boys group have been tied to the breach of the United States Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, and at least one of their leaders has been arrested and charged in connection with the event,” the motion reads.
Prosecutors argued that Rittenhouse’s “continued association with members of a group that prides itself on violence, and the use of their symbols, raises the significant possibility of future harm” and “this association may serve to intimidate potential witnesses.”
Law enforcement has retrieved and reviewed surveillance footage and still photos from Rittenhouse’s time at the bar.
Mark Richards, the defense lawyer representing Rittenhouse in the criminal case against him, told Fox News he filed a response to the prosecutors’ motion in Kenosha County Circuit Court Thursday morning.
John Pierce, the high-profile attorney leading Rittenhouse’s civil defense team, said in a statement to Fox News that “cancel culture” was at play for criticizing the 18-year-old’s legal beer drinking. He also decried corporations he said participated in defaming Rittenhouse by wrongly linking him to the White supremacist movement.
“If Kenosha prosecutors think they are protecting the State of Wisconsin from preventing 18 year-olds from legally drinking beer with their parents present, we are in very strange times indeed,” Pierce said.
“And if multibillion [dollar] corporations want to continue to defame Kyle Rittenhouse as a White supremacist, they will pay dearly. (Although if I were their general counsel, I would advise they research these things a bit deeper before they publish),” his statement continued. “Other than that, just another day in the Orwellian cancel culture we find ourselves in right now. We look forward to Kyle’s acquittal at trial, and to then holding accountable those who have engaged in the most brazen campaign of defamation in history in a vicious attempt to destroy an innocent young man’s life for clicks and political gain.”
A hearing on the prosecutors’ request has not yet been scheduled.
Richards has said Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense when he killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, with an assault-style rifle on Aug. 25. Rittenhouse told police he was guarding a private business during the protest that night.
The widespread unrest in Kenosha happened after Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake on Aug. 23 while responding to a domestic disturbance. Hundreds were arrested, and multiple businesses were destroyed. A Wisconsin prosecutor on Jan. 5 declined to file charges against Sheskey, concluding he couldn’t disprove the officer’s contention that he acted in self-defense.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.