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Oregon man denies harassing Yellowstone bison as seen in viral video

Posted at 6:07 PM, Aug 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-08 18:07:17-04

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK– The Oregon man charged with harassing a bison in Yellowstone National Park in late July pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, and is scheduled to go to trial later this month.

Raymond Reinke, 55, entered not guilty pleas to a handful of federal charges before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Mark Carman in Yellowstone County, according to court documents obtained by the Montana Standard.

He remains in custody without bond.

He has now been issued five citations related to alleged crimes in both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. In the latter, the Pendleton, Oregon, man faces charges of being under the influence to a degree that puts others at risk, interference with a government employee and disorderly conduct.

Following his release after posting a $500 bond in the Grand Teton charges, he was later cited in Yellowstone on the afternoon of July 31 for not wearing a seatbelt when the car in which he was riding was stopped for a traffic violation.

Later that afternoon, Yellowstone visitors reported to rangers the incident involving Reinke allegedly harassing the bison, and he again was issued citations — this time for open container and intentional disturbing of wildlife.

A video of the bison encounter — in which a man believed to be Reinke is seen waving his arms at a bison walking along the road and eventually charging the man — circulated widely on social media.

Court records said Yellowstone rangers were unaware of Reinke’s previous citation in Grand Teton, and of a bail release condition that he obey all laws or be taken back into custody. Reinke later was arrested in Glacier National Park after federal prosecutors filed to revoke his release.

Records for the hearing said a trial on Reinke’s charges was set for Aug. 23.