mont blanc pen sets gifts Appalachian Trail runner wants trial if Baxter park complaints not settled
MILLINOCKET, Maine Ultramarathon runner Scott Jurek, who on July 12 , will go to trial if he can’t resolve three pending citations issued July 12 by rangers at Baxter State Park, his attorney said Monday.
Jurek is accused of bringing alcohol, littering and bringing an oversized group to the summit, all violations of park rules. Each offense, considered civil violations under Maine law, carries a fine of up to $1,000.
The attorney declined to say what would be a satisfactory resolution to the case for his client. Plea agreements often include the dropping of some charges or violations if a defendant agrees to plead guilty or admit to others.
Efforts on Monday to reach Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy, who is prosecuting the case, were unsuccessful.
“The park is a sacred place, and [Jurek] was disrespectful,” Almy told the New York Times last week.
If a settlement is not reached on Sept. 9, a decision will be made whether to seek a jury or a jury waived trial, McKee said. A trial most likely would be held next year at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.
On Monday, Jurek was in ,
according to information posted on his Facebook page.
Park officials chastised Jurek and his sponsors in a statement posted on its Facebook page. In it, Jurek’s celebration at the peak, which included a bottle of champagne and was filmed for commercial use,
McKee said that park officials are making an example of Jurek because of his celebrity at a time when the rise in the number of through hikers on the federally maintained Appalachian Trail is causing tension in Baxter State Park. The last 15 miles of the 2,180 mile trail, which ends at the top of Mount Katahdin, is in the state owned park.
“These are not Scott’s issues,” McKee said.
The attorney said that a great deal of misinformation about what happened as Jurek neared the peak and once he reached it has been circulated through social media.
“There was no raucous party at the top of the mountain, and there was no corporate event,” McKee said. “Scott signed in with 12 people [the maximum number allowed without a permit]. People came and joined Scott’s group on their own.”
McKee said that Jurek did open the bottle of champagne and drank from it.
Jurek told his version of what happened when he reached the base of Mount Katahdin in a late July posting on his blog. “I stopped to pose for pictures with several large groups of people, including a trail work crew, to thank them for their support and invaluable efforts. There have been reports of a ballooning group size, but my group always remained at twelve.
“One friend decided to surprise me with a bottle of champagne,” he continued. “He asked the two park rangers at the trailhead if that was okay and was advised to keep it away from families and children. To him, that sounded like alcohol was acceptable within reason. When I reached the summit, two different park rangers watched my friend hand me the bottle to celebrate. We were not aware of any rules against alcohol and I own that I should have been better informed. Neither of the rangers said a word about it. If they had, I would have immediately put the bottle away.”