Three men- David Engelman, Ronald Engelman II, and Steven Thomas all left the established viewing platform and waded into the falls.
Dave Engelman was the one caught on a live webcam in the video that has now gone viral (embedded below).
All three men have now been sentenced by a Federal judge according to KTOO. David and Ronald Engleman were sentenced to 7 days in prison with $3,000 fines each. Thomas was sentenced to 10 days, and a $3,000 fine.
We now know that the men were drunk. Magistrate Judge Matthew Scoble described their actions as: “drunken capering, and a slap in the face to those who were there.”
It’s obvious that wading into a river of feeding grizzlies is a stupid idea, but Katmai National Park Superintendent described the severity of the actions in a statement to KTOO:
“They’re very aggressive among each other,” he said. “Certainly, had a bear shown up in a different location that the individuals in the water wouldn’t have seen, or had they approached a bear that was particularly territorial, or even just gotten near a club and a sow nearby, you know, there’s different types of scenarios that could have resulted in a very tragic incident. So we consider ourselves lucky that nothing like that happened.”
I know you didn’t click this article for my personal opinion, but I’m gonna give it to you anyways…
I can’t believe that these idiots got off so easy. They endangered themselves, the other people in the viewing area, and the grizzlies by getting hammered drunk and wanted to take closer photos for their Instagram accounts.
They did all that and got off with only a $3,000 fine and a week in prison? That’s a weak sentence if you ask me.