Zak Ringelstein, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Maine, was arrested Friday morning outside a U.S. Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas.
Ringelstein, who is challenging incumbent independent Sen. Angus King, traveled in a pickup truck to the facility, carrying toys, blankets, and food, while his campaign filmed his visit and protest in a Facebook Live video.
Ringelstein sat in the flatbed of his truck, refusing to move it as Border Patrol agents and eventually local police gathered in response. “I refuse, I refuse, I refuse to stand by as you imprison children and bring more children by the dozens into this facility... it is wrong. It is sick. It’s a sickness,” Ringelstein said in part of the live broadcast.
The unnamed official with whom Ringelstein spoke said that the Senate candidate couldn’t bring the items inside the facility but could instead give them to charitable organizations authorized to deliver them inside.
Ringelstein was repeatedly denied access to the facility before being peacefully handcuffed by police and arrested.
Another man who joined the candidate, holding a sign reading “Free Them,” also was arrested in the video.
“Zak is now a political prisoner of the Trump regime,” the Democrat’s Twitter account posted shortly after the arrest.
A spokesperson for the campaign told The Daily Beast: “My understanding is that he was arrested by the McAllen PD. Last I heard he was on his way to the sheriff's office for processing. Possibly being charged with criminal trespassing, but don’t know that for sure.”
When reached by phone the McAllen police department informed The Daily Beast that the public information officer was not in yet to address questions.