CHENEY, U.S.A. (AFP) – A judge has sentenced a California man to nine months in prison for a drunken rampage in Yellowstone National Park in which he caused thousands of dollars in damage to a hotel and suffered from rangers trying to subdue him.
As U.S. Magistrates Judge Mark L. Carman Benjamin J. Pagala, 27, of Santa Rosa, California, announced Jan. 7 to stay away from Yellowstone and not drink alcohol for a year after serving in prison.
Pagala in December pleaded guilty to three counts of assault, resistance and obstruction of law enforcement officers and one count of damaging federal property.
Wyoming District Attorney L. Robert Murray said in a statement Wednesday that Pagala was a heavy drinker, breaking objects and harassing guests at the Lake Hotel on Sept. 25 when a guard was called.
Guardsman Matthew Chowvarsky arrives to find a broken plexiglass and threatens Pajala with a fight. The Chuvarsky used the Taser on Bagala and handcuffed him outside the hotel, according to Chuvarsky’s report on the arrest filed in federal court in Wyoming.
Pajala sustained injuries to his hands and guards put him in an ambulance. On the way to a hospital in Livingston, Montana, Pagala dismembered himself and struggled with another guard, according to Chowvarsky.
The guard who was driving had to stop and help control Bagala by using an electric stun on him again. Chvarsky writes that a medic subjected Pajala with ketamine but by that time Pajala was suffering from five guards and a medic.
The Rangers documented other damages, including broken doors and lamps, totaling $2,865, according to Karman.
Karman ordered Pajala to pay this amount as compensation.
Pagala’s attorney, Tom Flyner, did not immediately respond with a phone message Thursday seeking comment.
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