Maine Man Sentenced for Stunt at Old Faithful

A 37-year-old Maine man was sentenced Thursday for trespassing on the Old Faithful thermal area in Yellowstone National Park on July 7 of 2020. Aaron Merritt of Madison, Maine, pleaded guilty to the charge of trespassing at a hearing before Magistrate Judge Mark L. Carman in Mammoth Hot Springs on July 1. According to a media release from the office of Acting United States Attorney for the District of Wyomign Bob Murray, 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.

The crime stems from an incident last year in July when Merritt, while wearing a raccoon skin hat and waving an American flag, ran out on the thermal area and up to the geyser of Old Faithful several times. Merritt then failed to appear for his court hearing on July 23, 2020, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was arrested last month in Maine and made his appearance at the Yellowstone Justice Center. The case was handled by Yellowstone National Park law enforcement rangers and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Hambrick.

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