DUBOIS – A Penfield man accused of deliberately wrecking an all-terrain vehicle is facing new charges for carving the name “Wildman” in trees and scattering rubbish while he was illegally camping on forestry land.
Austin Brian Smith, 21, was charged by a ranger of the state Bureau of Forestry with two misdemeanor counts of scattering rubbish upon land/stream, criminal mischief, institutional vandalism and a summary count of hunting without a license.
Previously, he was charged with two counts of recklessly endangering another person and traffic summaries by Pennsylvania State Police in DuBois in connection with an incident in Huston Township on May 27.
According to the affidavit of probable cause in the new case, in July forest rangers found a campsite with the signatures of “Wildman,” who is known to be Smith, carved into a log bench that was illegally cut from a nearby tree.
They also found a kayak thrown into the vegetation with “Wildman” written on the seat. There was garbage and trash scattered, including bottles, beer cans and six-pack rings in the woods near the site.
Reportedly, other sites in similar condition have been associated with Smith.
On Aug. 17, there was another report of graffiti written on the guardrails of the new bridge on Blackwell Road that said “Wildman,” “Wildman camping trip 6/17/17” and “Shawnee+Austin” that was written with some sort of permanent white paint.
On Aug. 21, it was reported that there was a camper in the woods on a gas well road off Firetower Road in Parker Dam State Park where someone was passed out or sleeping in a vehicle near it with ammunition and firearms all around them. This witness who was riding his bike in that area said he had seen the camper there for about three weeks.
When officers arrived, there was no vehicle, but there was a fire still smoldering, and a camper with a tarp draped over the entire side of it. A tree was damaged with carvings and other large oak trees had been cut down.
There was a coyote pelt hanging from some brush and they found the remains of the carcass in the woods. A combination of plastic drums, tin cans, and garbage was thrown throughout the area surrounding the camper.
There was no camping permit anywhere on the camper and no record of anyone having a permit for that area, meaning it was illegally parked on state forest property. The name “Wildman” was written on the sides and door of the camper.
In all of Smith’s camping areas, he was notorious for leaving carvings or paintings with the name “Wildman” written out. Smith is also known to live on state forest land illegally, police said.
It was determined that he had not held a hunting license since 2013.
When Smith was taken into custody on Oct. 13 in Huston Township, he was found to have a metal smoking device that had an odor of burnt marijuana. For this he was charged in a new case with possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to reports in the first case, when police arrived on the scene of the accident, a witness said she was arguing with Smith as they were riding on an ATV. During the argument, she called a friend to pick her up.
Smith allegedly told her to hang up the phone or he would crash the vehicle. She refused to end the call and Smith then crashed the ATV, police said. Both riders were thrown from the vehicle and sustained injuries, according to the affidavit.
Smith is scheduled for preliminary hearings in all three cases on Friday, Oct. 20 at District Judge Pat Ford’s office. He is incarcerated on $10,000 bail in each case.