SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah authorities are mulling whether to press charges against a Boy Scouts leader who purposely knocked over an ancient Utah desert rock formation and the two men who cheered him on after they posted video of the incident online.
Two of the men, who were leading a group of 14 to 16-year-old Boy Scouts on a trip, said the top of the rock formation was loose and they feared it was dangerous.
"This is about saving lives," Dave Hall, who shot the video, told The Associated Press on Friday. "One rock at a time."
The rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park is about 170 million years old, Utah State Parks spokesman Eugene Swalberg said. The park in central Utah is dotted with thousands of the eerie, mushroom shaped sandstone formations.
In a video posted on Facebook, Glenn Taylor of Highland, Utah, can be seen last Friday wedging himself between one formation and a boulder to knock a large rock off the formation's top. Taylor and his two companions can then be seen cheering, high-fiving and dancing.
"This is highly, highly inappropriate," Swalberg told the Salt Lake Tribune. "This is not what you do at state parks. It's disturbing and upsetting."
Hall, who is also a scoutmaster from Highland, said some of their Scouts were jumping on the structures and they noticed a large boulder on top of one structure was loose.
"My conscience won't let me walk away knowing that kids could die," Hall said.
Taylor told Salt Lake City news organizations on Thursday that he felt the rock move when he put his hand on it.
He said after he knocked the formation over, he wished he hadn't and he realized he should have contacted a park ranger. But he also said he feels he did the right thing.
"As it is, I feel guilty because I have a conscience," he told the Deseret News. "But my conscience also says I did the right thing."