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Boy Scouts boot 2 leaders who toppled ancient rock formation in Utah state park

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By The Los Angeles Times
Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, 8:51 p.m.

Two Boy Scout leaders who filmed themselves toppling an ancient rock formation in a Utah park have been removed from their posts by the Boy Scouts of America and could be charged with crimes for their actions in Goblin Valley State Park.

The Scouts' Utah National Parks Council said the men violated the organization's “leave no trace” policy in the park.

“As an organization that has been a leader in conservation for more than a century we were shocked and saddened by this irresponsible display of behavior and apparent disregard for our natural surroundings,” Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith said in a statement.

In the video, posted by Dave Hall to his Facebook page before it went viral, Glenn Taylor can be seen pushing over the top boulder of a mushroom-like rock formation. Once Taylor pushes the boulder off its rock stem, the men, with Taylor's son Dylan watching, begin cheering.

The video has prompted death threats from all over the world, and the men were mocked on the “Today” show.

Utah state parks officials have begun a criminal investigation, assisted by the local district attorney, to determine if any laws have been broken, Fred Hayes, director of the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation, said last week.

A new twist emerged in the case when CBS affiliate KUTV revealed that Taylor — seen pushing over the large boulder in the video and then celebrating and flexing — filed a personal injury suit last month over a 2009 car crash that he claimed left him “debilitated,” with “great pain and suffering, disability, impairment, loss of joy of life.”

This led to an awkward encounter between Taylor and KUTV reporter Chris Jones when the reporter quizzed Taylor about his injuries.

“You don't seem very debilitated,” Jones said of the video.

“You didn't see how hard I pushed,” Taylor replied.

“It looked like you were pushing pretty hard,” Jones said.

“You don't have my authority to put this online, to put this on the news,” Taylor said, ending the interview.

The journalist aired the report.

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