Oregon man pleads not guilty after viral bison-taunting video - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Oregon man pleads not guilty after viral bison-taunting video

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MAMMOTH, Wyoming - An Oregon man appeared in federal court Wednesday after a viral video surfaced of him taunting a bison on July 29.

At the Yellowstone Justice Center, Raymond Reinke, 55, pleaded not guilty to several charges stemming from incidents in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

The National Park Service says the Oregon man had several run-ins with law enforcement in national parks in the weeks leading up to his arrest, including the incident caught on video where he can be seen repeatedly provoking a bison. He was cited for disturbing wildlife after the video surfaced online last week.

Prosecutors played the viral video for Judge Mark Carman, a magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court of Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park.

Carman said he had avoided watching the clip before the court hearing. He described himself as the "last person in America to see the video." 

Prosecutors said the video was relevant to their petition to revoke Reinke's bond.

Following his not guilty pleas, federal prosecutors made the case for revoking the defendant's bond. His bond was initially set in Grand Teton National Park, following a public intoxication charge and disturbance of the peace after an incident in Grand Teton on July 28.

Prosecutors say the bison video, as well as other complaints of open container and public intoxication, are cause enough to revoke Reinke's original bond.

Reinke himself testified before the court, saying his trip to the national parks was meant to be a last "blowout" with a friend before returning to Oregon to seek help for alcohol abuse. He called himself an "alcoholic."

His traveling companion in the parks, whose name was read aloud in court as Ted Wyrick, said he witnessed Reinke drinking six to eight Hurricane malt beverages a day on the trip.

Yellowstone park rangers said that after Reinke's arrest, they called city police in Pendleton. Reinke has lived in the small Oregon community for nearly 20 years, according to police.

Pendleton police described Reinke as a volatile individual with mental health issues that may be related to drug and alcohol abuse. They said his record includes several prior arrests.

Judge Carman agreed to revoke Reinke's bond and scheduled a bench trial Aug. 23 at 9 AM at the justice center. Reinke will remain jailed while he awaits trial.

-Reporting by Jackie Coffin

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