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Suspect caught on video harassing bison in Yellowstone National Park arrested

Posted at 2:20 PM, Aug 03, 2018

WEST GLACIER – The suspect who was caught on video earlier this week harassing a bison in Yellowstone National Park has been arrested in Glacier National Park.

55-year-old Raymond Reinke of Pendleton, Ore. was apprehended by GNP rangers at about 10:45 p.m. Thursday. 

The National Park Service says that Reinke had been traveling to multiple national parks over the last week and was first arrested by law enforcement rangers on July 28 at Grand Teton National Park for a drunk and disorderly conduct incident. NPS said that Reinke spent the night in the Teton County Jail before being released on bond. 

Reinke then traveled to Yellowstone National Park where rangers stopped his vehicle on July 31 for a traffic violation. NPS said that Reinke appeared to be intoxicated and argumentative. He was cited as a passenger for failure to wear a seatbelt. After that traffic stop, NPS says it is believed that Reinke encountered the bison. 

Yellowstone rangers reportedly received several wildlife harassment reports from concerned visitors and found Reinke later on the evening of July 31, issuing a citation requiring a court appearance. After issuing that citation, NPS says the video surfaced of Reinke’s encounter with the bison. 

Yellowstone rangers connected Reinke’s history of run-ins with law enforcement on Thursday, Aug. 12, and after seeing the egregious nature of the wildlife violation, NPS says the Assistant U.S. Attorney requested his bond be revoked. The request was granted and on the night of Aug. 2, a warrant was issued for Reinke’s arrest. 

Reinke reportedly told rangers that he planned to travel to Glacier National Park. On the night of Aug. 2, Glacier National Park rangers began looking for his vehicle. Simultaneous with that search, rangers responded to the Many Glacier Hotel because two guests were arguing and creating a disturbance in the hotel dining room. Rangers identified one of the individuals involved as Reinke. 

Glacier rangers transported Reinke to Helena late Thursday night where they met Yellowstone rangers. Yellowstone rangers transported Reinke to Mammoth Hot Springs and booked him into the Yellowstone Jail. 

“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,” said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk. 

Reinke is scheduled for a court appearance on Friday. 

— Information from the National Park Service