VIDEO: Altercation in Yellowstone Becomes Violent When Tourists Were Confronted About Violating Park Rules
Written by Jessi Entel on July 10, 2023
Late last month, an altercation in Yellowstone between two groups of tourists escalated to violence after one group was caught on camera breaking the rules of the park.
Shared with Cowboy State Daily, the man behind the camera agreed to be interviewed under the condition his identity remain anonymous.
In the video, members of the two parties having a verbal argument near some thermal features. There was a lot of profanity, along with racial slurs spoken, and at least one person threatened to “smoke” [shoot] people in the other party.
The man behind the camera said the interaction began when he shouted at another park visitor who had left the boardwalk to approach a thermal pool. In Yellowstone National Park it is dangerous and illegal to leave the boardwalk to explore the geothermal pools.
When interviewed by Cowboy State Daily, he told them that he has visited the park every summer for years. Often times, he would have to warn other park tourists to not leave the boardwalk and to stay away from thermals.
In the beginning of the video, him and another member of his group shouted at someone who had left the boardwalk and was by the thermal pool, calling them an “idiot”.
A man on camera whistled and yelled, “Hey, idiot!” Attempting to get the attention of the person violating park rules.
Although he got their attention, what happened next he did not anticipate. The man who shouted at the park violators said he regretted starting the encounter like that and said he should have tried a different approach that wasn’t insulting.
The situation escalated quickly, and he shared with Cowboy State Daily that he wonders if he should have even said anything at all.
The man said, “I acknowledge if I had kept my mouth shut, it wouldn’t have happened.”
The video, taken with a GoPro camera, was stopped and restarted at various points during the altercation. The man videoing said that he tried to let all of the members of the other party that he was recording because he hoped it would diffuse the situation. Unfortunately, it only made matters worse.
The man videoing can be heard telling the other party that the video will “go viral”.
At one point in the video, a man from the other group began pushing him and even threw a couple punches at him. The man filming did not retaliate though.
The man who filmed the incident also claimed that the same man who became violent also threatened to shoot him and members of his party. In the video, a man can be heard shouting and threatening to get his gun shouting, “Y’all don’t want to die tonight!”
Another member of his group appears on camera and urges the man filming, along with his party, to quit following them, but they continued to trail them to the parking area.
The person who filmed this video said he has a permit to legally carry a gun in Yellowstone National Park. At the time the video was taken, he said his firearm was not on him but was locked up inside his vehicle.
In the video, no weapons appear, however the man filming does mention retrieving his gun because he felt threatened. He also shared with Cowboy State Daily that he has never had an encounter get so heated during other visits to the park.
This summer tourist season, there has been an alarming amount of park visitors caught on camera violating the rules of Yellowstone National Park, including people touching geothermal pools, harassing bison, elk, and bears, and even one dressing up as an animal to chase wildlife. When visiting the park, please remember to follow the park regulations for the safety of yourself, others and the wildlife.