More news about Yellowstone legal proceedings, as a visitor who trespassed on Old Faithful, American flag in hand, was sentenced to jail after failing to appear for a July 23, 2020 court hearing.
Here’s the deal. Aaron Merritt, 37, was visiting Yellowstone National Park last year. On July 7, 2020, while wearing a raccoon skin hat and waving an American flag, Merritt ran out on the thermal area and up to the geyser of Old Faithful more than once. The Madison, Maine was detained and was scheduled for a July 23, 2020 court hearing, but after he failed to show up, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
After being arrested in Maine on June 5, 2021 and then transported to Wyoming, Merritt appeared in front of Magistrate Judge Mark L. Carman in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming on July 1, 2021, for arraignment and sentencing. Merritt was sentenced to 15 days imprisonment with credit for four days served. He was fined $200 plus $30 in court costs and a $10 special assessment fee. He was also banned from Yellowstone National Park. This case was handled by YNP law enforcement rangers and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Hambrick.
It’s been a busy time at the Yellowstone Justice Center: yesterday we reported jail time, probation and fines were part of the sentence against a Yellowstone visitor last week after he was arrested for disorderly conduct and interference with a government official after a drunken incident at Grant Marina.