Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake is seen in this May 2016 National Park Service photo.

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An Indiana man this week pleaded guilty to several charges stemming from his behavior in Yellowstone National Park after a guide refused to take him and a group of intoxicated people on a kayak trip.

Kyle Campbell, 31, pleaded guilty to five charges: disorderly conduct; threatening, resisting and intentionally interfering with a government employee; violating the lawful order of a government employee; being under the influence of alcohol to a degree that the endangered himself or others; and contempt of court, according to a Wednesday afternoon news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark L. Carman sentenced Campbell on June 23 to 60 days of incarceration and five years of unsupervised probation, during which he will be banned from the world’s first national park. Carman also sentenced Campbell to pay $1,600 in fines and court fees.

According to the release, Campbell and the group he was with were scheduled to go on a guided kayak trip at the Grant Marina of Yellowstone Lake on June 21. The guide refused to take the group on the scheduled trip because they believed the group was too drunk to safely kayak.

The guide’s refusal to take intoxicated people on the water upset the group, and they created a disturbance that caused the guide to call Xanterra security and park law enforcement.

After officers arrived, Campbell threatened the officers and made threatening gestures, though the release does not specify what constitutes a threatening gesture. He struggled against and kicked at the rangers in an attempt to resist arrest and later injured himself while banging his head against the inside the patrol car. He also refused to comply with a warrant for a blood sample signed by Judge Carman, hence the contempt of court charge.

“We understand that people are eager to get out this summer and enjoy our national parks; however, this type of behavior is unacceptable,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Murray in the news release. “Stay sober, because unruly and intoxicated behavior will only earn you a spot with the jailbirds rather than enjoying the beauty and adventure of Yellowstone.”

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at or at (406) 582-2651. 

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