• The Cathedral Group from the Teton Park Road

    Grand Teton

    National Park Wyoming

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  • Bears are active in Grand Teton

    Black and grizzly bears are roaming throughout the park--near roads, trails and in backcountry areas. Hikers and backcountry users are advised to travel in groups of three or more, make noise and carry bear spray. Visitors must stay 100 yards from bears. More »

  • Area closure in effect for trails in the Jenny Lake Area

    A temporary area closure will be in effect for several trails in the Jenny Lake area due to construction activities involving helicopter-assisted transport of heavy material. The closure will last from October 27 through October 30, and possibly longer. More »

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    Intermittent closures of the park Multi-use Pathway System will occur through mid-October during asphalt sealing and safety improvement work. Pathway sections will reopen as work is completed. Follow the link for a map and more information. More »

  • Moose-Wilson Road Status

    The Moose-Wilson Road between the Death Canyon Road and the Murie Center Road is currently open to all traffic. The road may re-close at any time due to wildlife activity. For current road conditions call 307-739-3682. More »

Park Ranger Deploys Taser to Subdue Irate Young Man

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Date: August 21, 2013
Contact: Public Affairs Office, 307.739.3393

On Wednesday, August 14, a Grand Teton National Park ranger deployed his Taser to subdue a 23-year-old man from Kentucky who became agitated, physically combative and a risk for public safety. The ranger was attempting to talk with the man following a search for his whereabouts and concern for his wellbeing after he spent an unscheduled night in the park's backcountry. When they interviewed his father as the search was underway, rangers learned that the young man had a history of mental illness.

The day before his arrest, the young Kentuckian became angry and uncooperative with guides while participating in a mountain climbing class near Hidden Falls in Cascade Canyon. The young man claimed that he could "climb the Grand Teton on my own" and left his guide and other class members. He was last seen hiking off-trail in the direction of Inspiration Point. He spent the night somewhere in Cascade Canyon without the proper skill, experience or equipment for an overnight excursion and without a prearranged plan for backcountry camping.

At the request of his father,  rangers  initiated  a search for the missing man on Wednesday morning. He was located about 10:30 a.m. and a few minutes later, rangers approached him. Because he was clearly upset and disturbed by the presence of uniformed NPS rangers, they backed off and simply followed him as he continued out of the backcountry by foot and shuttle boat across Jenny Lake. As the  man arrived at the south Jenny Lake parking area, a ranger tried to engage him in conversation to assess his mental state. Rangers also wanted to discuss their recent search for his whereabouts and confirm  violations of park regulations.

During the conversation about his actions the day before and that morning, the young man became abnormally upset and confrontational. The ranger called for back-up and a second ranger arrived on scene just as the man became physically combative. Both rangers wrestled with the Kentuckian and pinned him to the ground. During the scuffle, one ranger deployed a Taser. Ultimately, it took three rangers to restrain the young man.

The man was transported to St. John's Medical Center on Wednesday morning  for a medical exam and psychological evaluation under Wyoming Title 25. For his safety, he remained at the hospital for the night. The young man was released into the custody of his father on Thursday, August 15, and together they traveled back to their Kentucky home.

The young man was cited for camping without a permit and also faces a charge of interference under the Code of Federal Regulations §2.32 (a)(1): Interfering with agency functions.

Tasers are a non-lethal weapon used by law enforcement officers to subdue belligerent or potentially dangerous people when other methods of defense become ineffective; they are typically used when the safety of a ranger or the public is at stake. In this particular incident, no injuries were sustained to the involved rangers or to the young Kentuckian.

Did You Know?

Mt. Moran in July

Did you know that the black stripe, or dike, on the face of Mount Moran is 150 feet wide and extends six or seven miles westward? The black dike was once molten magma that squeezed into a crack when the rocks were deep underground, and has since been lifted skyward by movement on the Teton fault.