Raymond Reinke of Pendleton, Oregon, was arrested early in August for climbing out of his car and taunting a Bison in a busy road in the middle of Yellowstone Park. He has now been sentenced, after reversing his original not guilty plea.
As reported by People, the 55-year-old was charged with harassment of wildlife, interfering with law enforcement, four counts of disorderly conduct, and count of presence in a park area when under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. After overturning his original plea and pleading guilty to the charges, a plea agreement was reached in which one count of disorderly conduct and the count relating to his state under the influence of alcohol were dismissed.
On Thursday, Judge Mark L Carman sentenced him to 130 days in jail for his crimes. The breakdown of the sentence is as follows: 60 days for harassment of wildlife, 60 days for interfering with law enforcement, and 10 days for disorderly conduct. He has also been ordered to pay a fine of $40, and was given a further five years of unsupervised probation, during which time there are certain national parks he is prohibited from entering.
The 21 days he has already served since his initial arrest will be deducted from his 130-day sentence.
Video footage of the incident, filmed by witnesses in another vehicle in the park, went viral, and led park officials on a manhunt to find the perpetrator. They were finally able to arrest Reinke on August 2. He was ultimately found at Glacier National Park in Montana, where he was actually taken into custody for a causing a disturbance in the dining room at the Many Glacier Hotel.
After his arrest, he was identified as the man in the video from Yellowstone Park.
Just a few days before that arrest, he spent a night in jail after being arrested in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming for being drunk and disorderly. Prior to that, he was actually given a citation for not wearing his seat belt in Yellowstone, just hours after the incident with the bison, but before the footage came to the attention of authorities.
During sentencing, he apologized to the animal for teasing it, according to ABC FOX.
“I’m sorry to the buffalo. He didn’t deserve what I did to him. I’m sorry, I really didn’t mean to hurt that buffalo.”
Judge Carman had a sharp response for the feeble apology.
“You chased and hounded the bison. You’re lucky the bison didn’t take care of it, and you’re standing in front of me,” he said.
The judge called it “the most egregious case of animal harassment he’d seen at Yellowstone.”
While on probation, Reinke is forbidden from indulging in drugs and alcohol, and will have to participate in a treatment program. Reinke had been on a “last hurrah” with his friends before he entered alcohol treatment.