Yellowstone Bison Harasser Arrested In Two National Parks

Aug 3, 2018

Perhaps you’ve seen this now-viral video of a man harassing a bison this week in Yellowstone National Park. That man, Raymond Reinke of Pendleton, Oregon, was arrested Thursday in Glacier National Park.

The 55-year-old Reinke visited several national parks this week. None of those stops went very well.

His trip started on a rough note Sunday in Grand Teton National Park. That where he was arrested on a drunk and disorderly charge. Reinke spent the night in the Teton County Jail and was then released on bond.

From there he moved to Yellowstone National Park. That’s where rangers stopped his vehicle Tuesday for a routine traffic violation. Officials say Reinke appeared to be intoxicated and was argumentative. He was cited as a passenger for not wearing a seatbelt.

It’s believed that shortly after that traffic stop, Reinke harassed and hazed that enormous bison that had slowed some traffic.

That video generated millions of views and international outrage.

Yellowstone officials describe Reinke’s behavior as an egregious wildlife violation.

"We have a regulation in Yellowstone that requires people to stay at least 25 yards away from bison, elk and other animals, and 100 yards from wolves and bears," says Yellowstone National Park Spokesman Neal Herbert.

"This individual was well beyond that limit. He was within several feet of a bison. He was also acting in a way that was clearly disturbing the animal. That’s another thing. Even if you’re 30-yards from an animal, if your behavior influences that animal’s behavior, you’re too close.”

Yellowstone rangers connected Reinke’s troubling behavior this past week and took their case to Montana’s Assistant U.S. Attorney who requested his bond from Sunday be revoked.

So then, how did they eventually find him? It turns out Reinke himself told rangers of his plans to travel next to Glacier National Park. Yellowstone officials yesterday put in a quick phone call to their colleagues in Glacier.

“Our law enforcement rangers were looking for this individual," says Glacier spokeswoman Lauren Alley, "and simultaneous with that, we received a call from the Many Glacier Hotel that they were having trouble with one of their guests in the dining room.”

Rangers identified that guest as – you guessed it – Raymond Reinke. He was arrested on the spot and transported to Helena last night where he was handed off to Yellowstone rangers who took him to Mammoth Hot Springs and booked him into the Yellowstone Jail.

“It's an amazing level of coordination," says Yellowstone Spokesman Neal Herbert. "We’ve got some great rangers working for the National Park Service, and that is clearly evident in how quickly this case unfolded."

Reinke was scheduled to appear in court today.