Bozeman, Mt – A jury fined a 52-year-old homeless man $150 for fishing without a license near his habitat at Manhattan, Montana.
Ernie Tertelgte refused to identify himself when a game warden approached him, and from there the situation deteriorated with every step of the procedure of hauling him into court to answer the charge.
Because he refused to cooperate, the fish and game warden called a local police officer who attempted to de-escalate the situation, according to his testimony, but to no avail.
Mr. Tertelgte insists he is a English esquire, beholden to no King's law. A magistrate charged him with obstructing an officer and resisting arrest because he went limp when the officers applied the bracelets. They had to carry him to the squad car.
When his court date came, he made numerous outbursts. The judge had him ejected, and he was unable to cross-examine the witnesses who appeared against him because he was confined to an adjacent room where he was forced to watch the trial on video.
A sampling of some of his actions included his refusal to stand when the judge entered the room. He claimed that as an English Esquire, he is beholden to no American judge.
"You are trying to create a fictitious, fraudulent action." He continued, "I am the living man, protected by natural law." He then yelled, "Do not tell me to shut up! I am the living, natural man, and my voice will be heard!"
Terteltge then pointed at the flag and said, "That is the Jolly Roger, that thing you call the American flag with the golf fringe around it is the Jolly Roger, and you are acting as one of its privateers!"
When the judge noted that he had pleaded not guilty, Terteltge countered, "I never plead, animals plead, sounds like baaaa, oink oink."
Spectators quizzed by a reporter for their opinions reportedly responded by saying:
“Maybe they should have just shot him. Dangerous criminal that he is and all.”
“King's fish, perhaps? I think police have much more important things to concern themselves with.
“But hey! We are FREE people!”
“Man. Do we ever need to talk. This guy was treated like garbage for being right. Just because we have allowed ourselves to be lulled into misguided slavery does not make it right.”
“If you act like a fool in court, then that is for the jury to observe and judge; you are allowed to make objections, even bad, foolish objections; plus, they handcuffed him in another room? They went too far; only if he was a danger to the court should he have been removed.”