Man arrested after walking on Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park

Posted at 5:45 PM, Sep 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 00:15:57-04

The man shown in the video walking on Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park is facing multiple charges and is out on bond, park officials said Monday.

One of those charges is being off-trail in thermal area, park officials said.

The incident was caught on Yellowstone’s webcams and remains under investigation. For now, the park is not releasing the man’s name or other details.

“We take these cases very seriously,” Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk said in a written statement. “The law requires people to stay on boardwalks or marked trails in thermal areas. Anyone who ignores this law risks their life and possibly the lives of emergency personnel.”

A video has surfaced showing a man walking on Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park.

Ashley Lemanski shot the video while visiting Yellowstone on Sept. 14.

The unidentified man can be seen standing close to the center of the iconic geyser. He lays down at one point in the video.

“We were absolutely terrified as we didn’t know if he was going to jump in or not. Very scary moment. We all just stood in shock watching him,” Lemanski said.

People hollered at him to “get off Old Faithful” and to “get on the boardwalk.”

Lemanski told MTN News the man walked toward the parking lot and was followed by a park ranger. She said he was then quickly arrested.

“They had him on the ground for several minutes, first laying and then sitting, in handcuffs, and then took him to the back of the SUV cop car,” Lemanski said. “He was back there for the remainder of our time at the park, about 30 minutes. We didn’t see if they drove him off or not.”

It was not immediately clear if the man will be charged for the incident.

The Yellowstone website states: “Stay on boardwalks and trails in thermal areas. Hot springs have injured or killed more people in Yellowstone than any other natural feature. ”

Old Faithful currently erupts around 20 times a day with an average height near 130 to 140 feet. The average time between eruptions is currently 74 minutes, but intervals can range from 60 to 110 minutes.

This is one of three notable incidents that have grabbed attention recently in Yellowstone National Park.

Raymond Reinke was sentenced to 130 days in jail after he was caught on video taunting a bison in August. An elk knocked down a visitor who was standing alongside the road on September 14.

Click here to read more about Old Faithful and Yellowstone National Park.

Story by Keeley Van Middendorp and Elizabeth Transue for MTN News