A word to the wise: don’t mess with bison when you’re visiting a national park. Also obey the law and keep the peace. Maybe that seems like obvious advice, but a man was recently caught on video harassing a bison at Yellowstone National Park. While he managed to escape without being gored, he was recently arrested after what turned out to be a series of incidents while visiting national parks.
Raymond Reinke’s run-in with the bison went viral after Facebook user Lindsey Jones posted the video on her page…
As the video shows, a bison is wandering around in traffic. A man can be seen getting close to the majestic animal and occasionally provoking it. At one point, it looks as though the bison attempted to gore him, but that lunge turned out to be just a warning shot, as the bison eventually wandered off.
While he managed to avoid a literal run-in with the bison, 55-year-old Raymond Reinke didn’t get off scot-free. Late last week, he was apprehended at his hotel following a string of incidents, the bison one included.
As the National Park Service explains in their press release, the timeline begins before the bison situation, beginning with Reinke — who was visiting multiple national parks over the course of the week — getting arrested at Grand Teton National Park and spending the night in Teton County Jail on July 28 for drunk and disorderly conduct. After being released on bond, he visited Yellowstone National Park, where he was pulled over by a ranger and cited for failure to wear a seatbelt. They believe the bison business took place at some point after that traffic stop. Due to the incident, Reinke was tracked down by Yellowstone rangers and issued a citation which would require a court appearance. After that, the video of Reinke messing with the bison in the road went viral.
But the story wasn’t over. At that point, the Yellowstone rangers made the connection between the bison harassment and Reinke’s recent run-ins with the law. The assistant U.S. Attorney requested that his bond be revoked, which was granted on August 2, and a warrant for his arrest was issued.
Authorities knew Reinke was planning on visiting Glacier National Park, and they were out searching for his vehicle when rangers responded to a complaint from Many Glacier Hotel due to two guests “arguing and creating a disturbance in the hotel dining room.” One of those guests was Raymond Reinke. He was arrested by the rangers and will presumably face the justice system for his misdeeds.
So this story goes beyond a man simply messing with a bison in the road, though that’s likely what people will remember most about Raymond Reinke’s national park crime spree, as evidenced by the popularity of the video, which has nearly 10 million views. But clearly there were a series of events that led to Reinke’s arrest.
If nothing more, the bison incident is a reminder to be respectful of nature at our national parks, both flora and fauna. Reinke may not have walked away from the whole thing unscathed, but the arrest is probably a far less painful consequence than what that bison might’ve done to him had it been feeling a bit more aggressive.