CRIME

Oregon Man Filmed Taunting Yellowstone Bison Learns His Fate

“I’m sorry to the buffalo. He didn’t deserve what I did to him,” Raymond Reinke told the court.

An Oregon man whose taunting of a bison at Yellowstone Park went viral this month has been sentenced to 130 days in jail for the crime.

Raymond Reinke, 55, of Pendleton, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to four charges of misconduct in national parks, including aggressively provoking a bison, according to KTMF TV in Missoula, Montana.

“I’m sorry to the buffalo. He didn’t deserve what I did to him,” Reinke told the court, according to the Associated Press.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman told Reinke, “You’re lucky the bison didn’t take care of it, and you’re standing in front of me.”

Video of the episode, which bystander Lindsey Jones posted on Facebook, shows Reinke standing in the middle of a road, waving his arms and running back and forth in an apparent attempt to get the attention of a bison just a few feet from him. The park requires that visitors stay at least 25 yards from most animals, including bison, and not harass any wildlife.

The animal briefly chased him before walking away, and Reinke was not hurt. 

Carman sentenced Reinke to 60 days in jail for harassing wildlife, 60 days for interfering with law enforcement and 10 days for disorderly conduct.

He has been given credit for 21 days served.

Although Reinke initially pleaded not guilty to all charges, he switched his pleas for four other charges to guilty, according to NBC Montana.

One charge for public intoxication in neighboring Grand Teton National Park Wyoming was dismissed.

Besides the jail time, Reinke was ordered to pay $70 in fees. 

After serving his sentence, he will be on unsupervised probation for five years, during which he is banned from Yellowstone, Glacier and Grand Teton national parks and forbidden to go to any liquor stores and bars.

He must also enroll in an alcohol rehabilitation program.

The National Park Service says Reinke had several run-ins with law enforcement in Yellowstone and Grand Teton in the weeks before his arrest.

Reinke told the court that he and a friend were on a “last hurrah” tour through several national parks before he entered alcohol treatment, according to AP.

Carman said he doubted whether Reinke could be a productive member of society, since he has a history of multiple petty offenses, with a criminal record dating back to 1981, according to NBC Montana.

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