Utah ‘goblin’ topplers avoid jail time but must pay for signs warning others of their mistake
Two former Boy Scout leaders avoided jail time for toppling an ancient rock formation at a Utah state park, but they may be ordered to pay thousands of dollars for signs warning others to avoid their mistake.
Glenn Taylor and David Hall were sentenced Tuesday to a year of probation after pleading guilty to knocking over the goblin-shaped sandstone and posting video of their actions on YouTube.
The men insisted they pushed over the rocks in October due to safety concerns, and Hall said his uncle had been killed decades earlier by a falling boulder.
They can be heard on the video laughing and singing the 2 In A Room song, “Wiggle It,” as they knocked over the ancient formation.
The pair admitted they should have brought their concerns to an authority, such as a park ranger, rather than taking the matter into their own hands.
The state plans to set up signs warning others to stay away from the rocks at Goblin Valley State Park, and the pair was ordered to pay an undetermined amount for them.
The 45-year-old Taylor was charged with felony criminal mischief for pushing over the hoodoo, and the 42-year-old Hall was charged with aiding and assisting in criminal mischief, also a felony, for recording the incident.
Both men had faced up to five years in prison if convicted, but Taylor pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and Hall pleaded guilty to attempted criminal mischief – both misdemeanors.
Taylor apologized for knocking over the ancient formation and said they regretted their actions.
The men must pay $925 in court costs and split a $1,500 cost for an engineer’s assessment of the damage, along with restitution costs that will be determined within the next 30 days.
If the men stay out of trouble for a year and comply with court orders, their cases will be dismissed.
Watch this video of the incident posted online by The Salt Lake Tribune: