Jackson Man Accused Of Bear-Spraying Tourist May Have Charges Dropped

Because his alleged victim can’t be reached, a Teton County prosecutor is asking to dismiss the case against a homeless Jackson man accused of bear-spraying a tourist after offering to impregnate her.

Clair McFarland

October 06, 20233 min read

Jackson arch 10 6 23

Because a woman who claimed a homeless man in Jackson offered to impregnate her then bear-sprayed her is now unreachable, the Teton County, Wyoming, prosecutor on the case is asking a judge to dismiss it. 

Teton County District Court Judge Melissa Owens has not yet ruled on the prosecutor’s motion, the case file indicates.

Dana Richard Arnold is facing a felony aggravated-assault charge in the Jackson court, plus a misdemeanor charge of unlawful contact, stemming from his July 20 encounter with some tourists.

A woman and her three friends were touring the country and visiting Jackson for the first time that day, says the evidentiary affidavit filed in the case.

When they got to the Home Ranch Visitor Center that evening, they encountered an apparently “homeless” man later identified as Arnold, who visited with them. 

Arnold made the woman uncomfortable saying he wanted to impregnate her,and touching her genital area through her clothes, the affidavit alleges. 

“Get the f*** outta here,” the woman reportedly told him. 

The group fled the man.

But when the woman retreated for a moment alone later, she encountered Arnold again, and he allegedly yelled at her, then sprayed her with bear-volume pepper spray.

Fell Off The Earth

Now the victim Teton County Attorney’s office deputy Mackenzie Cole needs for trial is nowhere to be found. 

Cole asked Judge Owens to dismiss the case “without prejudice,” meaning Cole could re-charge the case if the victim turns up later.

“The State has taken measurable efforts to contact the victim and the victim has remained unreachable,” says Cole’s motion, filed Thursday. 

Meanwhile …

But Arnold is facing another felony charge on claims he stole a teenage boy’s $1,200 bike, rode it around Jackson and tried to burn away the serial number with a butane lighter. 

Arnold disputes this. He wrote in a Sept. 29 handwritten letter to Judge Owens that when he was arrested, he “possessed (sic) no bicycle.”

“Thank you very much for your time,” concluded Arnold. 

On this case, Cole asked the judge Thursday to let her knock the charge down to a misdemeanor, in accordance with an agreement between the parties in that case. 

Owens hasn’t ruled on that request either. 

The affidavit on Arnold’s felony theft charge, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines, tells the story as follows: 

A father living in the Jackson area reported that his son’s bike, which cost him $1,260 according to its receipt, was stolen while the son was working at a local store. 

Jackson Police Department Detective John Ware reviewed a facility’s surveillance footage from the date and location where the boy had parked the bike. 

Ware believed he saw Arnold riding that same bike around in view of the camera. 

The store camera also captured Arnold buying something in the store around that time and leaving through the door nearest the bike. 

Court documents allege that when Arnold was arrested on suspicion of bear-spraying a tourist, he had that bike with him. 

Clair McFarland can be reached at clair@cowboystatedaily.com.

Share this article



Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter