The man who taunted a bison in Yellowstone park had visited 3 national parks that week. He had incidents in all of them.
WEST GLACIER, Mont. — A 55-year-old Oregon man, caught on video taunting a bison inside Yellowstone National Park, faces charges following a string of similar incidents in other national parks during that same week, the National Parks Service said in a Aug. 3, news release.
Raymond Reinke, of Pendleton, Ore., was apprehended Thursday, Aug. 2, by Glacier National Park rangers and transferred to the Yellowstone Jail in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo. following separate but similar incidents in Grand Teton National Park and Glacier National Park.
According to the NPS, Reinke had travelled to multiple national parks over the course of a week. On July 28, Reinke was arrested by law enforcement rangers at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming for a drunk and disorderly conduct incident. Reinke spent the night in the Teton County Jail and was eventually released on bond.
Following his release, Reinke traveled to Yellowstone National Park, where rangers stopped his vehicle July 31 for a traffic violation, the NPS said. Reinke appeared to be intoxicated and argumentative with law enforcement and was eventually cited for failure to wear a seatbelt. It is believed that after that traffic stop is where Reinke encountered the bison.
In a video taken by Lindsey Jones on July 31 that has since gone viral, Reinke can be seen walking in the middle of a road — amidst halted traffic — taunting a bison. The video showed Reinke going out of his way to bring attention to himself to attract the bison towards him. At one point, Reinke can be seen on video puffing his chest and arms out and grunting at the large animal. The bison ran at Reinke two times, but never hurt him.
Jones, who was recording the incident with her cell phone, can be heard screaming "Oh God, oh God, I can't watch it anymore" shortly after the bison charges at the man. Jones, assuming the man was going to get hurt, swung her phone away from the incident briefly in fear that the man was going to get severely injured.
Yellowstone rangers had received several wildlife harassment reports from concerned visitors during Reinke's incident with the bison. On the evening of July 31, park rangers found Reinke and issued him a citation, requiring a court appearance, according to the NPS.
Reinke had then told park rangers that his plans were to travel to Glacier National Park. As park rangers began looking for Reinke's vehicle in Glacier National Park, simultaneously, rangers responded to an incident at a park hotel of a report of two guests arguing and creating a disturbance in the hotel dining room. Rangers eventually identified one of the individuals involved in the argument as Reinke.
On Thursday, Aug. 2, Yellowstone rangers connected Reinke's extensive history, and the assistant U.S. attorney requested his bond be revoked. The request was granted and a warrant was issued for Reinke's arrest Thursday night.
Altogether, Reinke faces five federal charges of being under the influence of alcohol to a degree that endangers himself or others, interference/resisting, making unreasonable noise, storing an open container of an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle and disturbing wildlife.
"We appreciate the collaboration of our fellow rangers in Glacier and Grand Teton national parks on this arrest," said Dan Wenk, superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. "Harassing wildlife is illegal in any national park."
Reinke remains in the Yellowstone Jail, with his next court hearing scheduled for Wednesday.