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Michigan man who tries to climb Mount Rushmore falls 25 feet--survives, then arrested

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A Michigan climber who was spotted earlier this month on Mount Rushmore and later slipped down a cliff has been fined $1,500. Court documents show that dispatchers on Aug. 19 reported “a climber being seen on Mt. Rushmore on the top of George Washington’s head” was creating a “hazardous condition” by climbing an unsafe slope, falling and forcing law enforcement to track him down.

Ayman Doppke pleaded guilty Thursday to illegally climbing the mountain, the Rapid City Journal reported. Prosecutors dismissed charges of disorderly conduct and violating an area closure.

Doppke, of Dearborn, Michigan, said he figured rangers were going to try to catch him so he decided to go down the steepest and most dangerous route in order to escape, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Doppke fell 25 feet and tumbled down a loose gravel slope. He was arrested after he was treated by a medic but declined to be taken to the hospital. A phone number for Doppke could not be found.