Glenn Taylor pushed over an ancient rock formation in a Utah State park.
GREEN RIVER, Utah -- Under fire from the Boy Scouts of America and under investigation by law enforcement, two Utah troop leaders who taped themselves gleefully toppling a boulder from a Jurassic-era rock formation in a state park said Friday they should have been more hands-off.
Glenn Taylor and Dave Hall told NBC News that they acted with good intentions, pushing the massive rock before it could fall on its own and hurt someone, but now wish they had just alerted a ranger. "We did something right the wrong way," Taylor said.
Taylor and Hall, who were on a trip to Goblin Valley State Park with eight Boy Scouts, recorded the moment they dislodged the rock from the spot it had been perched for 170 million years. The video, which was posted to YouTube by the Salt Lake Tribune, shows them cheering and high-fiving, crowing that they had saved lives.
"We are shocked and disappointed by this reprehensible behavior," Deron Smith, a spokesman for the venerable scouting group, said in a statement on Friday. "The isolated actions of these individuals are absolutely counter to our beliefs and what we teach," Smith said. "We are reviewing this matter and will take appropriate action."
The Emery County Attorney's office is looking into possible criminal charges against the duo, although the state Attorney General's Office has decided not to intervene. The longtime scout leaders were aghast that they could face a felony charge for their antics, and said the act was not malicious in any way, although an "adrenaline rush" may have made it look that way.
"The thought that went through our minds was if this would have fallen while they were coming up that valley, up that very well-used walkway, numerous fatalities would have happened." In retrospect, they say, they should have just told a ranger of the hazard.
Instead, Taylor went up to the rock "and with one arm put a little bit of pressure on that [and] it went right over," said Hall, who acted as cameraman. Taylor admitted they were amped up by the sight, but said it wasn't done for kicks. "It was spectacular to watch something like that," he said. "It was not 'let's go tear Goblin Valley down.'"
Park officials said the pair were out of line. "This is not behavior that is appreciated or should exist in state parks," Eugene Swalberg, a spokesman for the park system, told the Deseret News. "This has been formed for literally millions of years, and it's supposed to last for a long time. It doesn't need individuals doing the work of Mother Nature.
The story took another turn Tuesday when news came out the man pushing over that heavy rock had just filed a lawsuit that says he suffered debilitating injuries in a car crash four years earlier.
Cassie McDonald and her father, Alan, were just notified of the case by their insurance company. The two had seen the YouTube video, but didn't realize it was the same man suing them for great pain and suffering, disability, impairment, loss of joys of life, and more than $5,000 in medial costs.
In September of 2009, Cassie was driving her mother's Nissan Armada in American Fork, Utah. She says it was raining and when she tried to stop slid into four cars including that of Glenn Taylor. Cassie says, at the time, no one reported any injuries.
"Only Mr. Taylor knows the reason why it took four years to fine a lawsuit," she said.
YouTube in the news:
Victim's mother speaks out after fight caught on video
YouTube plans it's own awards show for November
Cleveland kidnappers give thanks on YouTube