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Man taken into custody after disturbance in Rocky Mountain National Park, investigation underway

Rocky Mountain Ntl. Park had 4.1M people in 2015
Posted at 11:48 PM, May 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 01:48:26-04

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — Park rangers are working with the United State’s Attorney’s Office on an investigation on reports of a man saying he was being chased by someone with a rifle on a trail in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Park rangers responded to cell phone reports from park visitors on May 13 that a man was running down the Gem Lake Trail toward the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead parking area yelling that he was being chased by someone with a rifle. While rangers were responding to the area, they received an additional report that a woman had been knocked down by a man running down the same trail.

Approximately 400 yards from the trailhead, rangers found a man sitting on the trail who appeared to be injured. It was determined he was the man reportedly running down the trail. He appeared to be under the influence of a substance, later determined to be narcotics.

The man became combative while rangers were taking him into custody. He was then taken to Estes Park Health for treatment.

Shortly after, the woman knocked down on the trail hiked to the parking area with the help of park visitors. She was treated for injuries at the trailhead and then taken to Estes Park Health.

Rangers and the Estes Park Police Department K-9 Unit continued to search the Gem Lake Trail for any indication of firearm use and any other persons of interest based on reported descriptions. They ultimately determined a group of three men, including the man taken into custody, were together on a hike at Lumpy Ridge. Authorities made contact with the remaining two men and they were escorted to the parking area.

No weapons were found in the area and there were no additional reports of a person carrying a rifle. Rangers contacted approximately 30 people on the trail who said they did not hear any gunshots or see an armed individual during their visit.

The case is under investigation. Park rangers are working with the United States Attorney’s Office on charges.