MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS – An Oregon man who officials say was caught on camera harassing a bison in Yellowstone National Park was arrested late Thursday night.
Raymond Reinke, 55, of Pendleton, Oregon, was apprehended by Glacier National Park rangers around 10:45 p.m.
Reinke had been traveling to multiple national parks over the last week, according to a Yellowstone National Park news release. On July 28, he was arrested by law enforcement rangers at Grand Teton National Park for an alleged drunk and disorderly conduct incident. He spent the night in the Teton County Jail and was released on bond.
Park officials say Reinke then traveled to Yellowstone National Park. Rangers stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation on July 31 and he appeared to be intoxicated and was argumentative, the news release says. He was cited as a passenger for failure to wear a seat belt and authorities believe after the traffic stop, Reinke encountered the bison.
A passerby captured the incident on camera and the video has been seen millions of times with the majority of viewers expressing outrage at Reinke’s behavior.
Yellowstone rangers received several wildlife harassment reports and issued Reinke a citation Wednesday evening before the video surfaced.
On Thursday, rangers connected Reinke’s extensive history, and after seeing his alleged wildlife violation, the Assistant U.S. Attorney requested his bond be revoked. The request was granted and a warrant was issued for Reinke’s arrest Thursday.
Reinke had told rangers that his plans were to travel to Glacier National Park so park rangers at Glacier began looking for his vehicle Thursday night. Around the same time, rangers responded to the Many Glacier Hotel because two guests were creating a disturbance. Rangers identified one of the individuals involved as Reinke.
“We appreciate the collaboration of our fellow rangers in Glacier and Grand Teton national parks on this arrest. Harassing wildlife is illegal in any national park,” Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said in a statement.
Glacier rangers transported Reinke to Helena late last night, where they met Yellowstone rangers. Yellowstone rangers transported Reinke to Mammoth Hot Springs and booked him into the Yellowstone Jail. He is scheduled for a court appearance Friday.
By Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com