Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Illegal Entry Into Closed Area
The park had two incidents involving illegal entry into closed areas on Mount Rushmore during the last days of August. Rangers saw three people above and behind the sculptures on the mountain and inside a closed area around 6:30 p.m. on August 22md. The rangers hiked up the mountain, found the three men - two age 19 and one age 20 - on the rock summit above the Hall of Records, and ordered them to halt and remain where they were. The men instead fled, leading to an hour-long chase through extremely rugged terrain. The men were eventually found along a roadway and arrested for illegal entry into a closed area and for fleeing the rangers. On the afternoon of August 31st, a report came in that someone had climbed high onto the mountain to a point immediately below the sculptures and far inside the closed area. Rangers Lee Buschkowsky and Curt Frain climbed the mountain and arrested the 24-year-old man. Much of the incident was recorded on the parkís video surveillance system. The manís true identify and his status as a resident of the United States were still being investigated at the time of the report. INS has joined the investigation. A hearing date has been set for September 26th; the INS has asked that he be kept in custody until his residency status can be determined.