Man Sentenced to 6.5 Years for Assaulting Tourists in Yellowstone National Park
A man who brutally assaulted two tourists in a Yellowstone National Park restroom last year was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in federal prison on Wednesday.
Jackson Burley Coombs, 30, also was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Freudenthal to serve three years of probation after his release, pay $2,199 in restitution and pay a $125 special assessment, according to minutes of the sentencing.
Freudenthal also ordered Coombs to not have any contact with the victims, not possess firearms, not possess alcohol or controlled substances, receive a mental health evaluation, and undergo cognitive behavioral treatment.
Coombs previously was scheduled for sentencing on April 11, but failed to appear.
In January, he pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of simple assault. One count of assault resulting in serous bodily injury was dismissed as part of the plea deal, according to court records.
After the sentencing, Wyoming U.S. Attorney Mark Klaassen said the nature and circumstances of the were appalling. "I am sorry for the pain and emotional distress the victim of this senseless attack has had to endure, and thankful for the courage of those who heard the commotion and took action to subdue Coombs before he could inflict any further harm."
The case started July 18 when a ranger was called to the Mammoth Xanterra cabins for a report of a sexual assault. On his way there, the ranger heard about an assault between two men. By the time he arrived, Coombs was in custody.
The ranger interviewed two men who held Coombs on the floor until law enforcement arrived.
One man said he was the boyfriend of the victim of the assault. They were staying in a nearby cabin, and they walked to the community restroom. When he was exiting the men's room he heard a cry for help from the women's room, knocked on the door asking if someone needed help, pushed the door open, and saw a pair legs sticking out from the far stall.
He went to that stall and saw Coombs "with long bleach blonde hair, assaulting his girlfriend, according to court records.
Coombs then turned around and began striking the boyfriend and biting him twice on the lower right forearm and on the upper left side of his chest. Coombs also pulled out bear spray and tried to spray the boyfriend with it, but the boyfriend slapped it away.
The boyfriend told his girlfriend to get out of the bathroom and call for help. When she went outside, she found a bystander who offered to help. That man went inside and helped the boyfriend keep Coombs on the ground.
In her account of the incident, the girlfriend told the ranger she entered the bathroom, saw an individual behind the door of one stall with toes pointed toward the wall and not the stall door.
She went to the far stall and as she was about to exit, Coombs began to pound on the door, broke in wearing toilet paper around his face, and began to attack her and spray her with bear spray. She began to crawl under the partition to the next stall when her boyfriend entered.