Colorado man cited for walking on Old Faithful

Colorado man cited for walking on Old Faithful


Four citations were filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Yellowstone National Park against a Colorado man who was spotted Friday walking on the cone of Old Faithful, one of the park's most iconic thermal features.

Gabriel Villalva of Greeley, Colorado, was cited for disorderly conduct and walking off-trail in a thermal area, along with two counts of interfering with agency function.

Villalva was arrested after the incident and subsequently released on bond, a park spokesperson said Monday.

In a widely shared video recorded by a park visitor and uploaded to Facebook over the weekend, Villalva can be seen standing next to Old Faithful, at one point laying down at the edge of the geyser.

Two people can be heard in the recording suggesting that he may be urinating into it, but the citations don't indicate that he relieved himself on the thermal feature.

When park officials caught up with Villalva in the parking lot near the Old Faithful Lodge, he ignored instructions to sit on the curb and instead looked at the officer and "began to sing," according to the citations.

He began walking away and lit a cigarette, but ultimately complied with the instructions after a park ranger drew a Taser and threatened to use it on him.

The citation for disorderly conduct specifies "creating a hazardous condition" and notes that water temperatures in the geyser have been measured as high as 204 degrees, with steam temperatures capable of exceeding 350 degrees.

Villalva's actions were also captured on webcams stationed in the area, according to the park's statement.

He is scheduled for an initial appearance at the Yellowstone Justice Center in Mammoth on Nov. 8.


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

"I want to be very clear – rodeo as a whole is not 'cancelled' in Wyoming," the governor said. "There are no public health orders issued by the state that would 'shut down' rodeos or prevent them from taking place."

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News