Video Shows an Influencer Hitting a Golf Ball Into the Grand Canyon. She Now Faces Charges
Social media sought justice.
TikToker Katie Sigmond is known for her pranks, several of which are golf-related. But bringing her act to a beloved national park was a misstep. Now she's facing criminal charges. In a video posted to Sigmond's TikTok on Oct. 26, she stands in front of the national landmark's iconic rocks and takes a swing at a golf ball. Her club breaks in two, and part of it plummets into the canyon. She turns to face the camera and demonstrates shock.
Park officials were not amused. They posted a statement on social media criticizing Sigmond's video. Then the police got involved. Read on to find out what happened next and what's in store for Sigmond.
"Do we really need to say, 'don't hit golf balls into the Grand Canyon?'" park officials wrote on Facebook last week, attaching a screenshot of Sigmond's swing. "Throwing objects over the rim of the canyon is not only illegal but can also endanger hikers and wildlife who may be below."
Sigmond's video was promptly taken down. But she has been criminally charged for her actions, park spokeswoman Joelle Baird told the Washington Post. She faces three misdemeanor counts of littering, creating a hazardous condition, and throwing objects over the canyon rim. Keep reading to learn more and see the video.
Sigmond quickly removed the video from her social media accounts. But some posted a copy of the clip to Reddit. And Redditors were not having it. "These people should be banned from the national park system," said one commenter.
Another suggested the offender should "pay for the crew that has to find and retrieve their junk. Helicopter, crew, repel team." "Should be charged with reckless endangerment for the club," said another commenter. "The golf ball could hit and seriously injure someone, but that club coming down on your head from that height would absolutely kill."
According to officials, "a number of people" reported the video. Within days of its posting, Grand Canyon police had zeroed in on Sigmond. She hasn't made an official statement about the controversy. According to Baird, a citation was filed with the U.S. District Court in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Sigmond is required to make a court appearance. Baird said the misdemeanor counts each carry the potential of up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines, although the prospect of jail time is "unlikely."
This isn't the first time the Grand Canyon has been the backdrop of a prank that attracted the internet's attention. Last summer, a woman reported on Reddit's AITA forum that she had gone on a vacation to the Grand Canyon despite a severe fear of heights. She asked her boyfriend to support her.
But at one point, he pretended to push her over the edge of a cliff. The woman said she left her boyfriend to enjoy the rest of the vacation by himself. Most commenters said she did the right thing.
And last spring, a rash of online reviews were left for the Grand Canyon in which visitors claimed they had lost their pants at the landmark. The source of the coordinated prank was unclear, but some attribute it to a 2019 tweet by comedian Sarah Schauer. It reads: "Dating advice: don't drunk text your ex, just leave a bad review for the Grand Canyon."