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Man arrested in Wyoming is possibly person filmed walking on Old Faithful

Posted at 5:52 PM, Sep 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-21 11:24:41-04

Gabriel Villalva was arrested after leading police on a chase through Cheyenne, Wyoming, on Wednesday.

According to radio station KGAB in Wyoming, Villalva is the man who gained notoriety after walking up to Old Faithful geyser and another thermal area in Yellowstone National Park last week.

Although Yellowstone officials have not released the name of the man caught on video at the park, court documents state that a man named Gabriel Villalva was cited in federal court on Tuesday in the district that includes Yellowstone.

According to Buckrail, Villalva was cited for disorderly conduct, walking off-trail in a thermal area, and two counts of interfering with agency function for the Yellowstone incident.

The Cheyenne incident started after several people reported seeing a vehicle being driven recklessly through town, according to KGWN.

Police tried to stop him, but he sped away and drove away, leading officers on a brief chase. He finally stopped when officers put down spike strips.

Villalva, 27 years old, then sat in the vehicle revving the engine, which led to the vehicle catching fire.

Officers were able to get him out of the vehicle and firefighters quickly extinguished the fire.

Villalva was detained by police and then taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Cheyenne police have not yet said why they believe Villalva was running from officers, nor have they indicated what charges he may be facing.

Kevin Malatesta of the Cheyenne Police Department said, “”We’re trying to investigate to determine how much property damage there was, what other charges there may be. All of those things are details that will come in the future, but I just don’t have at this time.”

He added, “He actually struck a patrol car and also struck a fence along the route there. So, fortunately nobody else was injured during this crash, no bystanders or citizens were injured in this crash, no officers were injured.”

Story by David Sherman, MTN News