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Scout leader topples ancient Utah rock

  • This undated photo released by Utah State Parks shows rock formations at Goblin Valley State Park. Authorities say three men could face felony charges after purposely knocking over an ancient Utah desert rock formation and posting a video of the incident online. State parks spokesman Eugene Swalberg says the formation at Goblin Valley State Park is about 170 million years old. The park is dotted with thousands of the eerie, mushroom shaped sandstone formations. (AP Photo/Utah State Parks)

    This undated photo released by Utah State Parks shows rock formations at Goblin Valley State Park. Authorities say three men could face felony charges after purposely knocking over an ancient Utah desert rock formation and posting a video of the incident online. State parks spokesman Eugene Swalberg says the formation at Goblin Valley State Park is about 170 million years old. The park is dotted with thousands of the eerie, mushroom shaped sandstone formations. (AP Photo/Utah State Parks)

  • This undated photo released by Utah State Parks shows rock formations at Goblin Valley State Park. Authorities say three men could face felony charges after purposely knocking over an ancient Utah desert rock formation and posting a video of the incident online. State parks spokesman Eugene Swalberg says the formation at Goblin Valley State Park is about 170 million years old. The park is dotted with thousands of the eerie, mushroom shaped sandstone formations. (AP Photo/Utah State Parks)

    This undated photo released by Utah State Parks shows rock formations at Goblin Valley State Park. Authorities say three men could face felony charges after purposely knocking over an ancient Utah desert rock formation and posting a video of the incident online. State parks spokesman Eugene Swalberg says the formation at Goblin Valley State Park is about 170 million years old. The park is dotted with thousands of the eerie, mushroom shaped sandstone formations. (AP Photo/Utah State Parks)

  • This undated photo released by Utah State Parks shows a rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park. Authorities say three men could face felony charges after purposely knocking over an ancient Utah desert rock formation and posting a video of the incident online. State parks spokesman Eugene Swalberg says the formation at Goblin Valley State Park is about 170 million years old. The park is dotted with thousands of the eerie, mushroom shaped sandstone formations. (AP Photo/Utah State Parks)

    This undated photo released by Utah State Parks shows a rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park. Authorities say three men could face felony charges after purposely knocking over an ancient Utah desert rock formation and posting a video of the incident online. State parks spokesman Eugene Swalberg says the formation at Goblin Valley State Park is about 170 million years old. The park is dotted with thousands of the eerie, mushroom shaped sandstone formations. (AP Photo/Utah State Parks)

  • This undated photo released by Utah State Parks shows rock formations at Goblin Valley State Park. Authorities say three men could face felony charges after purposely knocking over an ancient Utah desert rock formation and posting a video of the incident online. State parks spokesman Eugene Swalberg says the formation at Goblin Valley State Park is about 170 million years old. The park is dotted with thousands of the eerie, mushroom shaped sandstone formations. (AP Photo/Utah State Parks)
  • This undated photo released by Utah State Parks shows rock formations at Goblin Valley State Park. Authorities say three men could face felony charges after purposely knocking over an ancient Utah desert rock formation and posting a video of the incident online. State parks spokesman Eugene Swalberg says the formation at Goblin Valley State Park is about 170 million years old. The park is dotted with thousands of the eerie, mushroom shaped sandstone formations. (AP Photo/Utah State Parks)
  • This undated photo released by Utah State Parks shows a rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park. Authorities say three men could face felony charges after purposely knocking over an ancient Utah desert rock formation and posting a video of the incident online. State parks spokesman Eugene Swalberg says the formation at Goblin Valley State Park is about 170 million years old. The park is dotted with thousands of the eerie, mushroom shaped sandstone formations. (AP Photo/Utah State Parks)

SALT LAKE CITY — Authorities are mulling whether to press charges against a Boy Scouts leader who purposely knocked over an ancient Utah desert rock formation and against the two men who cheered him on after they posted video of the incident online.

Two of the men, who were leading a group of teenage Boy Scouts on a trip, said the top of the rock formation was loose and they feared it was dangerous.

“This is about saving lives,” Dave Hall, who shot the video, told The Associated Press on Friday. “One rock at a time.”

The rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park is about 170 million years old, Utah State Parks spokesman Eugene Swalberg said. The central Utah park is dotted with thousands of the eerie, mushroom-shaped sandstone formations.

In a video shot last Friday and posted on Facebook, Glenn Taylor of Highland can be seen wedging himself between a formation and a boulder to knock a large rock off the formation’s top. Taylor and his two companions can then be seen cheering, high-fiving and dancing.

“This is highly, highly inappropriate,” Swalberg told the Salt Lake Tribune. “This is not what you do at state parks. It’s disturbing and upsetting.”

Hall, who also is a scoutmaster from Highland, said some of their Scouts were jumping on the structures and they noticed a large boulder atop one of them was loose.

“My conscience won’t let me walk away knowing that kids could die,” Hall said.

While safety was their motivation, Hall said, they reacted with high-fives and cheers in the video because of the adrenaline that came with what he described as a “crazy, exciting moment.”

Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith confirmed the men are members of the organization, and condemned their actions. He said in a statement that the organization is “shocked and disappointed by this reprehensible behavior.”

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