JAIL TIME For Yellowstone Incident

(DailyEmailNews.com) – For trespassing near a geyser at Yellowstone National Park (YNP), a tourist received a seven-day jail sentence.

As announced by prosecutors last week, 21-year-old offender Viktor Pyshniuk from Lynwood also faces a two-year ban from the park, a $1,500 fine and additional court-related fees.

The incident unfolded when a park employee spotted Pyshniuk dangerously close to Steamboat Geyser’s steam vent in the Norris Geyser Basin, prompting a quick response from law enforcement.

The employee photographed Pyshniuk as he wandered off the designated boardwalk and up an incline to stand dangerously close to the geyser’s vent, just 15-20 feet away.

On social media, YNP shared a photo capturing Pyshniuk’s silhouette against a backdrop of steam plumes while other tourists who remained safely on the boardwalk watched him.

Confronted by an officer at the scene, Pyshniuk admitted he had ventured off the path “to take photos.”

The officer cautioned him about the area’s dangers, including the ground’s instability and the potential for sudden bursts of steam, hot water and boiling mud, as stated in a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Wyoming.

Magistrate Judge Stephanie A. Hambrick handed down the sentence and said it would serve as a deterrent to prevent similar reckless behavior.

She highlighted it was important to stick to park rules to preserve YNP’s natural beauty and safety.

“And if every visitor to YNP disobeyed the rules, the park would be destroyed, and no-one would be able to enjoy it,” the judge remarked.

Acting United States Attorney Eric Heimann expressed, “Trespassing in closed, thermal areas of Yellowstone National Park is dangerous and harms the natural resource.”

He warned that in cases where the evidence clearly shows a willful disregard for park rules, “federal prosecutors will seek significant penalties, including jail time.”

Noted for being the world’s tallest and most dangerous active geyser, Steamboat Geyser has eruptions that are highly unpredictable, with intervals ranging from three to 89 days.

Since it was reactivated in 2018, the National Park Service described it as pulsating “like a massive steam engine in a rare, but remarkably memorable eruption, reaching heights of 300 to 400 feet.”

YNP has the highest concentration of geysers in the world and is home to over 500 geysers and more than 9,500 other hydrothermal features.

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