Contractor at Yellowstone National Park sentenced on assault charges

GREAT FALLS — Gregory Michael Samuel Toth was sentenced in federal court on Monday, April 18, 2022, for assault with intent to commit a felony.

Toth worked as a construction contractor in Yellowstone and was temporarily residing in a contractor trailer at the Fishing Bridge RV Park, where the assault took place. He was arrested on October 6, 2021, in Park County, Wyoming.

Court documents state that law enforcement officers were dispatched by Yellowstone staff for a report of an assault. The victim called dispatch from the Fishing Bridge RV Park (where the assault occurred), and was told to drive to the West Thumb Junction along the Grand Loop Road.

The victim, who was with a co-worker, was worried the assailant (later identified as Toth) was following them and would confront them before officers arrived.

The victim told a park ranger that he had known Toth for about 32 years and that Toth had recently been released from prison for assaulting and kidnapping an ex-girlfriend. The victim had vouched for Toth to get a job at Triple A Construction Company and the two men shared a trailer at the RV park in Yellowstone.

The victim noted that Toth was normally talkative, but on the afternoon of September 30, Toth was “quiet” and was watching the victim “unusually” close. When the victim asked Toth questions, he replied only with one-word answers, which was unusual.

That evening, the victim and another co-worker drove to Cody to go to the Walmart there. While at the store, Toth called the victim and began to accuse him of sleeping with Toth’s ex-girlfriend. Toth told the victim that he knew where he was and that he would come to Cody to “find the car and deal with [them] properly.”

As the victim and his co-worker drove home, they encountered Toth parked in a travel lane going toward Cody with his bright headlights on. The victim and his co-worker avoided the truck and drove back to the trailer to avoid Toth.

The victim got home and fell asleep, but was awakened at about 5:20 a.m. by Toth calling his cell phone. The victim did not answer, but soon heard someone banging on the door of the trailer. As the victim went to open the door, Toth pushed on the door and rushed into the building. Toth threw the victim down to the ground and wrapped his hands around the man’s neck, choking him.

Toth then took out a knife and pressed it against the man’s neck and told him he would kill him “for what [the victim’s] done.” Toth called the man a liar and said he knew the truth, meaning that he knew the victim was sleeping with Toth’s ex-girlfriend.

The court documents state that the victim said he had never met Toth’s ex-girlfriend.

Toth reportedly then told him, “Don’t worry, I’ll give you a chance before I kill you. I’ll let you try and fight me, then I’ll shoot you in the head.”

Toth went through an old phone of the victim’s to find evidence of a relationship between him and the ex-girlfriend, but was unable to find any such evidence; he accused the victim of deleting all messages between him and the ex-girlfriend. Toth also accused everyone at their construction company with helping the victim to cover up the relationship between him and the ex-girlfriend.

Toth began grabbing items belonging to the victim and an old roommate, telling the victim to get into Toth’s truck.

Once outside, the victim ran toward a co-worker who was heading to work at Old Faithful. The co-worker did not see Toth, but confirmed the victim told him he’d been strangled and that Toth threatened to kill him.

During this time, other park rangers found Toth driving his truck in the RV park. He was detained around 8 a.m., and told police that he saw “his girl’s” number in the victim’s phone and that he did not hurt the victim, saying that they only had an argument.

He also claimed that he had not held the victim at knifepoint, but said he pushed the victim onto the couch. He insisted he did not hold a knife to the victim or choke him.

Toth admitted to officers that he was “probably” guilty of battery, but that he didn’t go to an extreme. While searching his truck, police found a black folding knife that matched the victim’s description and a metal baton.

“Assault is a serious crime regardless of the location but when it occurs in a national park, it becomes a federal felony,” said U.S. Attorney Bob Murray in a news release. “This individual is now serving close to four years in federal prison due to an unnecessary assault on an innocent individual. This type of conviction would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of our prosecuting attorney and the investigative work of the National Park Service.”

Federal District Court Judge Nancy Freudenthal sentenced Toth to 44 months of imprisonment and three years of supervised release, to be served concurrently to a state sentence, and ordered to pay a $500 fine and a $100 assessment.