Rock-Toppling Men Hit With Felony Charge

Glenn Taylor, Dave Hall pushed over Utah formation
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2014 2:26 PM CST

Two former Scout leaders have been charged with felonies—criminal mischief and aiding criminal mischief—after one of them knocked over a rock formation in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park. Glenn Taylor, 45, pushed over the rock while Dave Hall, 42, filmed it, Deseret News reports. The two, who have been dropped from the Boy Scouts, could face up to five years in jail and fines of up to $5,000. They say they pushed over the formation, which Q13 Fox notes was millions of years old, because they feared it could fall over on its own and hurt someone.

"Neither one of us were out there intending to do illegal activity," said Hall. "It just made sense to us at the time—remove the danger so that we don't have to hear about somebody dying." Following the filing of the charges yesterday, he added: "We've apologized … We're happy to see this thing coming to an end." In order to assess the charges in the "unusual case," authorities had to figure out how much the formation was worth; they settled on $1,500 to $5,000, Q13 notes. They hope the charges are "a deterrent for anybody else who thinks it’s cool to deface or destroy state park property," says an official. The incident could lead to new laws protecting Utah state parks. (Read more Goblin Valley State Park stories.)

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