GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — Hanging Lake in Garfield County is one of Colorado’s most picturesque sights.
The uniqueness and popularity of the natural wonder prompted the United States Forest Service to implement special rules to protect the area.
Among them, visitors are asked not to enter the water — a rule clearly displayed on a sign along the water’s edge.
However, 35-year-old business owner David Lesh decided to do it anyway, walking on a famous log that crosses the lake. He posted a photo of his stunt on his company’s Instagram page and the backlash was immediate.
“It just seems like some people think they’re above the law sometimes. I don’t know why,” said Matt Martinez, one of the many people who were angered by what they saw.
“Even though it’s bad publicity, he likes the publicity. He thinks it’s funny,” added a man named Chris, who asked that we not use his last name because he claims Lesh targeted him for comments on social media.
The U.S. Forest Service does not think it’s funny. The agency is now investigating the photo, which is just the latest in a long string of incidents involving Lesh.
In 2014, David Lesh was cited for harassing a moose with his car. He was also arrested that year for setting 25 grocery carts on fire in Boulder.
Earlier this year, he got caught snowmobiling on the slopes at Keystone’s terrain park, a year after he was caught snowmobiling near Independence Pass in a wilderness area off-limits to motorized vehicles.
Lesh appeared in court Tuesday for that incident and was ordered to pay $500 and perform 50 hours of community service.
“He’s got a little bit of an entitlement attitude, for sure,” said Martinez.
Martinez and more than 15,000 other people have signed a change.org petition asking Gov. Jared Polis to revoke Lesh’s business license in the state.
However, Lesh doesn’t seem fazed. After receiving numerous comments questioning his behavior, he challenged others on social media to follow his lead at Hanging Lake and even defecate in its waters.
“I just feel like doubling down and getting people to make it worse is horrible. I don’t understand people like that. It frustrates me a lot because you can work your butt off to protect something your whole life and someone can come in and destroy it just because of an attitude,” said Martinez.
The FOX31 Problem Solvers contacted him about the incident at Hanging Lake. He responded with a one-sentence statement filled with profane language.