Kyle Rittenhouse keeps his composure while starting to cry as he is found not guilty on all counts on Nov. 19, 2021, at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wis. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool, File)
Despite investigators spending over 100 hours trying—and failing—to find Kyle Rittenhouse so they could serve him court papers, a judge ruled this week that a father’s civil lawsuit against the far-right firebrand can proceed.
John Huber, whose son was shot and killed by Rittenhouse during racial unrest in Wisconsin in 2020, filed the civil suit in 2021 and hired investigators to find Ritttenhouse. But when they couldn’t find him, the lawsuit stalled.
On Wednesday, however, Judge Lunn Adelman described Rittenhouse’s actions as “cagey” and ruled that the lawsuit could proceed.
“Rittenhouse, in contrast, is almost certainly evading service,” the decision reads. “The length of time that it has taken professional investigators to complete service is itself evidence of this fact.”
In 2020, then 17-year-old Rittenhouse brought an AR-15 to a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times. Blake survived the shooting but was paralyzed from the waist down. He got involved in an altercation with 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum, shot him dead, and then killed Huber, 26, after he fled the scene and was retreating. Rittenhouse also shot another protestor, who survived, and fired into the crowd. At the end of a tense trial in 2021, Rittenhouse was found not guilty of first-degree reckless homicide, two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, and two counts of reckless endangerment of safety.
Huber’s lawyers told the Washington Post the “ruling puts Anthony’s family one step closer to justice for their son’s needless death.” They added they’re looking forward to discovery and getting “full transparency into the events of that fateful and tragic evening.”
Huber’s lawsuit names not only Rittenhouse but also the city and county of Kenosha, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth, former Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis, and current Kenosha Police Chief Eric Larsen. The lawsuit argues that the allegedly friendly attitude police had with the armed men in the streets, such as Rittenhouse, emboldened them to the point they would feel comfortable shooting protesters.
Rittenhouse’s lawyers attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed because, they argued, it failed to show any conspiracy. Adelman wrote in the ruling that while “I agree a conspiracy is unlikely, I cannot say that these allegations are so fantastic that I may ignore the complaint’s factual allegations and dismiss the conspiracy allegations as frivolous or entirely implausible.”
Since his criminal trial, Rittenhouse has become quite a celebrity on the right-wing media circuit where he made public appearances and actively courted controversy by announcing a video game where players could shoot turkeys with a liberal bias.
Rittenhouse is raising money for the lawsuit via GiveSendGo, a right-wing alternative to GoFundMe. He has raised $80,000 of a $500,000 goal.
This article previously stated Jacob Blake was killed when in fact he survived the police shooting but was paralyzed as a result.
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