Man turns himself in for graffiti at Zion National Park
ST. GEORGE, Utah – A very popular hike in Zion National Park is getting a lot of attention on social media, but not for its sweeping views. Instead, it’s for the graffiti recently left behind – graffiti that also led everyone straight to the culprit.
At first glance, the photo is a perfect Instagram shot of Angel’s Landing. But look a little closer and scrawled on a rock in permanent marker is the Instagram handle of “suspence fitness.” Next to it, is written “Teena and Spencer 2018” encased in a heart.
The person who allegedly wrote it, Spencer Beaudreault, says he’s a fitness coach from Tampa, Fla. Under his post he stated, “I had to.”
The Instagram photo went viral over the weekend, but not in the way the culprit was hoping. People called him out saying the graffiti is “disgusting” and “criminal.” Many even tagged the National Park Service hoping they’d take immediate action. They are.
“Graffiti is vandalism and it’s a Class B misdemeanor here in the park, so it carries a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine or six months in jail,” said Andrew Fitzgerald, deputy chief ranger with Zion National Park.
After what was likely a huge amount of backlash, Beaudreault took action himself. He shut down his social media accounts and apparently even his business website. Before his Instagram was deleted, he also wrote this:
“I’m so so so so so sorry about this. I am contacting the park to help with the situation. I did not mean to cause any harm and I obviously was not thinking.”
Beaudreault did call the park and Fitzgerald says they are working out a plan with him where he’ll pay for the entire clean-up, and potentially avoid additional fines or criminal charges.
“He’s very apologetic. He wants to do the right thing,” Fitzgerald said. “It was pressure from the public and it was education from the public. A lot of people don’t recognize that it’s wrong. But he learned the hard way from a lot of people that it’s not appreciated.”
Fitzgerald says they deal with thousands of instances of graffiti every year at Zion National Park, but rarely do people turn themselves in.
Beaudreault did not respond to our request for comment.