Prosecutors are seeking to modify the bond agreement of Kyle Rittenhouse — the teen charged with killing two people during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer — after they said he flashed white power signs and was “loudly serenaded” the Proud Boys’ anthem at a bar.
On Wednesday, the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to restrict Rittenhouse, who turned 18 earlier this month, from possessing or consuming alcohol at a bar or restaurant, displaying white power signs, and fraternizing with known members of white supremacy groups.
Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, was released from Kenosha County Jail on a $2 million bond in November, money mostly raised by conservatives through a legal defense fund. The conditions of Rittenhouse’s bond currently do not restrict him from entering a bar, drinking alcohol, or making contact with white supremacist militia groups like the Proud Boys.
According to prosecutors, the request came after Rittenhouse was spotted with his mother at a local bar in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, on Jan. 5 — the same day he pleaded not guilty to felony homicide charges and other crimes in connection to the killing of two protesters and injuring one other.
At Pudgy’s Pub, Rittenhouse was seen wearing a T-shirt with the words, “Free as F***,” while flashing the "OK" sign — a gesture that has been co-opted by known white supremacist groups, the motion said. In his 90-minute visit to the bar, which was captured on security footage, the teen was seen consuming alcohol while being serenaded by a group of adult men who sang the Proud Boys’ anthem, according to the motion.
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In the state of Illinois, where Rittenhouse lives, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol in a public place, according to the motion. But in Wisconsin, people under the age of 21 can carry and drink alcohol if they are with a parent.
Mark Richards, an attorney for Rittenhouse, filed a response to the state’s bond modification on Thursday. Richards said the teen did not object to the bond conditions prohibiting drinking and possessing alcohol or fraternizing with any known hate groups, but he said Rittenhouse was not, nor has he ever been, a member of a white supremacist group, according to court records.
"The state has done an extensive search of all of Mr. Rittenhouse’s social media as part of its investigation in this case,” he said in the statement. “Upon information and belief, no information linking Mr. Rittenhouse to the listed organizations has been found.”
Authorities have said that Rittenhouse traveled to Wisconsin to guard a car dealership from looting when he opened fire at racial justice protesters who took to the streets following the Aug. 23 shooting of Jacob Blake. Lawyers for Rittenhouse argued that the teen, who has been praised by right-wing commentators and viewed sympathetically by the Trump administration, had acted in self-defense.
Rittenhouse allegedly killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injured a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, who had a handgun.
The court has not yet set a date to consider the request from prosecutors.
CORRECTION (Jan. 14, 2021, 10:45 a.m.): A previous version of this article misstated Rittenhouse’s age. He is 18, not 17.