Oregon Man Sentenced To More Than Four Months In Jail For Hazing Bison, Other Crimes
An Oregon man whose internationally notorious harassment of a bison in Yellowstone National Park last month was sentenced to 130 days in jail after pleading guilty Wednesday to the harassment and other misdemeanor counts.
Raymond Reinke, 55, of Pendleton, Ore., entered his change of plea during a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman in Mammoth Hot Springs.
Carman sentenced Reinke to 60 days in jail for harassing wildlife, 60 days for interfering with law enforcement and 10 days for disorderly conduct. Reinke was given credit for 21 days served after his arrest in Glacier National Park on Aug. 2.
The federal government agreed to dismiss one county of "disorderly conduct: create hazardous condition."
Besides the jail time, the judge placed him on unsupervised probation for five years; banned him during that time from Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier national parks; ordered him to not use or possess alcohol; ordered him to successfully complete an alcohol treatment program and prove it to the court; and consent to being searched if law enforcement suspects alcohol use.
According to abcfoxmontana.com, Reinke apologized to the bison, saying, "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."
Carman responded, saying, "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."
A federal prosecutor and Carman described Reinke's behavior as the most "egregious" case of animal harassment they'd seen in Yellowstone.
Reinke's crimes drew national attention when a Yellowstone visitor recorded his interaction with a bison on video. Carman said the video did not influence his sentencing decision.
The case began July 28 when he was arrested by rangers in Grand Teton National Park on a drunk and disorderly conduct incident. He spent the night in the Teton County Jail, and was then released on bond.
Reinke then traveled to Yellowstone National Park where rangers stopped his vehicle for a traffic violation on July 31. He was a passenger, appeared intoxicated and argumentative, and was cited for failure to wear belt.
Soon after that, Yellowstone rangers received several wildlife harassment reports from concerned visitors. They found Reinke later that evening and issued a citation requiring a court appearance. However, at that time they were not aware of the previous citations.
The video of the event surfaced after that citation had been issued. Thursday, and rangers connected Reinke’s extensive history.
Klaassen requested Reinke's bond be revoked, the court granted the request and issued the arrest warrant.
Reinke earlier had told rangers that his plans were to travel to Glacier National Park.
Thursday night, Glacier National Park rangers began looking for his vehicle.
Meanwhile, rangers responded to the Many Glacier Hotel because two guests were arguing and creating a disturbance in the hotel dining room. Rangers identified one of the individuals involved as Reinke.
Glacier rangers took Reinke to Helena where they met Yellowstone rangers who took him to Yellowstone.