Persistent Bend political gadfly and current candidate for Bend City Council Ronald “Rondo” Boozell was arrested Friday and will likely be in jail on Election Day.
Boozell, 57, was arrested outside City Hall on a warrant for contempt of court. He’d been ordered by a judge to serve a 90-day sentence for nonpayment of child support.
During his arrest, Bend Police allege, Boozell interfered with officer Zachary Childers and attempted to ride away on a bicycle because he knew a jail sentence would keep him from campaigning.
On Monday, Boozell was scheduled to make his initial court appearance on one count of interfering with a police officer, but that hearing was postponed due to paperwork.
Boozell has been a colorful presence around Bend City Hall for years, speaking in public comment portions of meetings, often advocating for Bend’s homeless population.
In 2016, he held a marijuana “smokeout” in a public area of downtown to protest city policy. In the process, he got into a heated confrontation with a downtown business owner.
He was sentenced to 90 days in jail in March 2017 for refusing to pay a child support judgment from 2004. He professed to jail personnel he was on a hunger strike and was a political prisoner.
According to a case report by Bend Police, officer Childers was driving his patrol vehicle Friday morning near City Hall when he noticed Boozell riding his bicycle.
“As I approached, I advised Boozell he had a warrant for his arrest and asked him to step off his bicycle,” Childers wrote in a case report. “Boozell said, ‘Nope’ and something about being late for a meeting.”
According to Childers, Boozell attempted to ride away but Childers caught up to him on foot.
“I grabbed Boozell by the arm and used my body weight to push him to the left. By doing so Boozell lost his balance (and) fell off the left side of his bicycle.”
The fall to the ground caused several “small abrasions” on Boozell’s legs, but he declined medical treatment, according to court documents.
Boozell reportedly told Childers he knew he had a warrant for his arrest for “the same case he had been fighting for years.”
“I asked Boozell why he ran from me,” Childers wrote. “Boozell said he ran because he was in the middle of election preparations and he knew he would be going to jail for three months.”
County jail inmates are allowed to vote in Oregon, according to Deschutes County Clerk Nancy Blankenship.
But people housed under the authority of the Oregon Department of Corrections — aka state prisons — are not.
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, firstname.lastname@example.org