Three Boy Scout leaders who filmed themselves knocking over a rock formation in a Utah state park could face felony charges, according to local reports.
Men identified as Dave Hall, Glenn Taylor and Dylan Taylor posted video on Facebook of themselves pushing over a formation known as a “goblin” in Goblin Valley State Park, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported.
The rock of the formations, also called “hoodoos,” in the park is said to be up to 170 million years old. The formation itself in its current state, resulting from erosion, is about 20 million years old, according to the Tribune.
“Some little kid was about ready to walk down here and die and Glenn saved his life by getting the boulder out of the way,” a man offscreen says. “So it’s all about saving lives here at Goblin Valley.”
Watch the one-minute video, which shows a celebratory attitude among the men after the boulder falls:
After the video came under fire, one of the men explained the purpose of their actions to Desert News.
“It just made sense to us at the time — remove the danger so that we don’t have to hear about somebody dying,” Hall told the newspaper.
While the men may have thought they were doing someone a favor, Utah State Parks officials became aware of the situation and told the Tribune on Thursday that criminal charges could come of it.
“This is highly, highly inappropriate,” spokesman Eugene Swalberg told the Tribune. “This is not what you do at state parks. It’s disturbing and upsetting.”
Hall said they never meant to do anything illegal, and they wish they had alerted a park official of the potentially dangerous situation instead.
“In hindsight, the smart thing for us would have been for us to say, ‘Dave, stay here. I’ll run and get a ranger,’” Taylor told Desert News. “I mean, this rock was sitting in a 3-by-½-inch ledge.”
The incident is still under investigation and a county attorney has not yet said if felony charges will be pressed. The men hope charges are not issued because they could lose their position as Scout leaders.
“If you’re a felon, you can’t be a scouter and that would break my heart, but I did the crime,” Taylor told KTSU-TV.
Editor’s note: The rock in the park is said to date at 170 million years old, but the formation is reportedly no more than 20 million years old. This story and headline have been adjusted to make the distinction more clear.