Kyle Rittenhouse was observed at a Racine County bar the afternoon of his arraignment, with a photo taken at the bar that has been widely shared on social media prompting Mount Pleasant Police to investigate whether he had violated conditions of his bond.
At the time, Rittenhouse was wearing a T-shirt that said “free as (expletive).”
Rittenhouse, now 18, of Antioch, Ill., is charged with homicide and attempted homicide for shooting three men, killing two, during protests in Kenosha in August. His bond was posted on Nov. 20 with $2 million raised by donors, his case drawing support from some conservative and gun rights groups.
According to a statement from the Mount Pleasant Police, the department received information Friday that there was video footage of Rittenhouse inside Pudgy’s Pub, 7800 Washington Ave. The caller was concerned that Rittenhouse was violating the conditions of his bond.
Police sent officers to the pub, checking video footage from Jan. 5, and found Rittenhouse was at the bar with a parent from about 2:25 to 4:25 p.m. that day. Rittenhouse had his arraignment, during which he formally entered a not guilty plea, at 1 p.m. that day.
A former University of Wisconsin-Parkside student posted a photo of Rittenhouse at the bar on Facebook, saying “Kyle Rittenhouse sure is living the free life! Let this sink in....”
The man said he did not take the photo, but was at the tavern when the photo was taken.
By Friday afternoon, the photo had been shared more than 1,500 times. Hundreds commented, some praising Rittenhouse and saying the shootings were justified; others were outraged.
Another photograph shared with the Kenosha News shows Rittenhouse standing with his mother Wendy Rittenhouse in the bar, each with a beer in hand.
Under Wisconsin law, those who are underage can legally drink at taverns if they are with a parent or guardian.
“Contact was made with the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office, and after explaining the situation, his actions and presence in the establishment did not constitute a violation of his bond agreement,” stated Lt. Scott Geyer of the Mount Pleasant Police Department.
When a judge or court commissioner sets bond, it includes conditions that include committing no further crimes. In Rittenhouse’s case, it included conditions that he not possess weapons and a list of people with whom he is not allowed to have contact, including the man who survived the shooting and the families of those who died, and certain witnesses in the case. A person who violates bond conditions is subject to arrest for bond jumping, another felony, and could have bond revoked.
Although the Rittenhouse family lives in Antioch, they are reportedly staying in Wisconsin since he was released on bond.
Rittenhouse is charged with first-degree homicide for the death of Anthony Huber of Silver Lake, first-degree reckless homicide for the death of Joseph Rosenbaum of Kenosha, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide for wounding Gaige Grosskreutz of West Allis.
Rittenhouse and his attorneys maintain Rittenhouse was acting in self defense,
He is next expected to appear in court March 10.