News & Features

Glacier Park Rangers Arrest Suspect in Yellowstone Bison Incident

Oregon man spent the last week allegedly causing trouble in multiple national parks

Glacier National Park rangers arrested a man who was allegedly captured on video taunting a bison in Yellowstone National Park.

According to a National Park Service press release, Raymond Reinke, 55, from Pendleton, Oregon, spent the last week visiting numerous national parks.

He was first arrested on July 28 for “a drunk and disorderly conduct incident” in the Grand Teton National Park and subsequently spent the night in jail before being released on bond.

On July 31, Reinke had another run in with park rangers, this time in Yellowstone, after a vehicle in which he was riding as a passenger was stopped for a traffic violation. According to the press release, he “appeared to be intoxicated and argumentative.”

He was cited for not wearing a seat belt. That evening, after receiving numerous wildlife harassment reports, rangers say they located Reinke and gave him a citation requiring a court appearance. It was after this that a video surfaced in which a man in a blue shirt taunted a bison in Hayden Valley.

Within two days, park officials said the Yellowstone rangers came to believe that Reinke was the man in the now viral video, having harassed the animal sometime after receiving his first citation. According to the NPS statement, “seeing the egregious nature of the wildlife violation, the Assistant U.S. Attorney requested his bond be revoked. The request was granted and on the night of August 2, a warrant was issued for Reinke’s arrest.”

Since Reinke had previously informed rangers that he intended to visit Glacier National Park, Glacier rangers began searching for his vehicle. Around the same time, rangers also responded to an incident at the Many Glacier Hotel where “two guests were arguing and creating a disturbance in the hotel dining room.”

Discovering that Reinke was one of the two guests, rangers said they took him into custody around 10:45 p.m. and transported him to Yellowstone rangers in Helena late Thursday night. They then brought him to Mammoth Hot Springs where he was booked into the Yellowstone Jail.

“We appreciate the collaboration of our fellow rangers in Glacier and Grand Teton national parks on this arrest,” Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk said in a statement. “Harassing wildlife is illegal in any national park.”

Reinke was scheduled to appear in court on Friday.