Following a trail of crimes from Grand Teton to Glacier national parks, rangers have arrested a man wanted following a bison-harassing incident in Yellowstone Park earlier this week caught on video and watched by thousands online.
Raymond Reinke, 55, of Pendleton, Ore., was apprehended in Glacier Park late Thursday night; he has since been transported to Yellowstone National Park and booked into the jail at Mammoth Hot Springs.
Turns out, Reinke had been involved in several other incidents in Grand Teton National Park, was stopped by a traffic violation earlier in Yellowstone and was involved in a disturbance at Many Glacier Hotel at the time of Thursday night’s arrest.
Here’s the chain of events as pieced together by National Park Service law enforcement officers and released Friday:
On July 28, Reinke was arrested in Grand Teton Park on a drunk and disorderly conduct charge. He was booked into the Teton County jail, stayed overnight, then released on bond.
That’s when he headed for Yellowstone, where rangers pulled over his vehicle for a traffic violation on July 31.
Reinke was a passenger in the car, and was argumentative with officers. He appeared to be drunk and was cited for failure to wear a seatbelt.
It was after the traffic stop that Reinke gained international attention after other visitors posted videos on the bison-hazing incident.
In the video, Reinke charges a large bull bison, taunting it to chase him. Ultimately, the bison gives chase but the man is able to escape the charge and again begins taunting the animal.
The incident occurs in a traffic jam that has cars stopped in both directions of travel while he harasses the bison.
Other visitors not only posted the video, but filed wildlife harassment reports with Yellowstone rangers, who issued a citation to Reinke requiring a court appearance.
On Thursday, Aug. 2, Yellowstone rangers working with their counterparts in Grand Teton Park were able to connect the dots in Reinke’s record of criminal activity in the two parks.
“Seeing the egregious nature of the wildlife violation, the assistant U.S. attorney requested his bond be revoked,” the Park Service said in Friday’s announcement of Reinke’s arrest. “The request was granted and on the night of Aug. 2, a warrant was issued for Reinke’s arrest.”
Reinke had told rangers that he intended to travel on to Glacier National Park, so rangers there began looking for him on Thursday night.
Once again, his own behavior provided the needed assistance, as shortly thereafter law enforcement officers were called to the dining room at Many Glacier Hotel, where two guests were involved in a loud argument and disturbance.
One of those individuals was Reinke.
Glacier rangers took him into custody and drove him to Helena, where they were met by rangers from Yellowstone Park, who took him to Mammoth Hot Springs and booked Reinke into the Yellowstone jail.
He was scheduled for a court appearance there on Friday.
Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk thanked the officials at Grand Teton and Glacier for assisting in the investigation and arrest.
“We appreciate the collaboration of our fellow rangers in Glacier and Grand Teton national parks on this arrest,” Wenk said. “Harassing wildlife is illegal in any national park.”