Man fined after climbing Rushmore

Gray Hughes

A Michigan man has been fined $1,500 for climbing Mount Rushmore National Memorial on Aug. 19, court records show.

According to federal court records, at approximately 11:35 a.m. on Aug. 19, law enforcement was notified of a climber seen on top of George Washington’s head at Mount Rushmore. The man was identified in the statement of probable cause as Ayman Doppke.

According to the statement of probable cause, Ayman was seen falling down a cliff, and a Ranger located him approximately 100 feet below the base of the monument “as he was attempting to scale down yet another cliff.”

Further, according to the statement of probable cause, “Doppke stated he saw and disregarded the ‘Federally Closed Areas’ signs and climbed around the concertina razor wire near the top of the monument.”

Doppke said he figured and expected rangers to try to catch him after everyone saw him on top of the memorial, so he attempted to get down via the steepest, most dangerous route in order to get out of there quicker, the statement of probable cause reads; however, Doppke fell approximately 25 feet before tumbling down a loose gravel slope. Doppke was seen by an ambulance, but he refused transport to a hospital. After that, Doppke was placed under arrest and charged with violating an area closure, climbing Mount Rushmore and creating hazardous conditions/disorderly conduct.

On Aug. 20, U.S. District Court in Rapid City accepted a guilty plea from Doppke for climbing Mount Rushmore. The other two charges were dismissed, according to court documents.

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