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Suspect in viral bison encounter arrested in Glacier Park

Raymond Reinke

Glacier National Park rangers arrested a man caught on tape taunting a bison in Yellowstone National Park earlier this week. It’s not his first run-in with the law in national parks.

A news release says the rangers arrested Raymond Reinke, 55, from Pendleton, Oregon, around 10:45 p.m. Thursday.

A video showing Reinke repeatedly harassing a bison in Yellowstone went viral. By Friday afternoon it had more than 5.6 million views.

The release says Reinke traveled to multiple national parks over the last week. Spokespeople say rangers arrested him at Grand Teton National Park July 28 on a drunk and disorderly charge. He reportedly spent the night in the Teton County jail before being released on bond.

That’s when he traveled to Yellowstone. Rangers stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation July 31. Rangers say he appeared to be intoxicated and argumentative. They gave him a ticket for not wearing a seat belt as a passenger. Rangers believe Reinke encountered the bison after that traffic stop.

Several visitors reported Reinke for wildlife harassment later that evening. Rangers issued a citation that night requiring a court appearance. The video of the encounter went viral after they issued a citation.

On Thursday, Yellowstone rangers connected the dots in the case. The assistant U.S. attorney requested Reinke’s bond be revoked because of his extensive history in the parks. The request was granted and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Reinke apparently told rangers he planned to travel to Glacier National Park. Glacier rangers started looking for his vehicle Thursday night. While searching, rangers responded to a separate call for a fight at the Many Glacier Hotel dining room. Rangers responded and identified one of the parties as Reinke.

Glacier rangers drove Reinke to Helena where they met Yellowstone rangers. Yellowstone rangers took him to Mammoth Hot Springs and booked him into the Yellowstone jail. He’s scheduled in court Friday.

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