(credit: U.S. Department of the Interior/Bureau of Land Management)

(credit: U.S. Department of the Interior/Bureau of Land Management)

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — A Minnesota man is apologizing for defacing a national monument in Montana.

Cole Randall, of Plymouth, told investigators he carved “Cole + Shpresa 10/10/2013” into Pompeys Pillar National Monument after he became fearful his new wife might have breast cancer.

Pompeys Pillar is a sandstone formation that’s designated as a national monument. It’s where explorers Lewis and Clark also carved their names during their famed expedition of the West over 200 years ago.

Randall has admitted that the act was “definitely stupid and misguided.”

He also sent his statement to the federal Bureau of Land Management. Its investigators are assessing damage before deciding whether to file felony charges against the couple.

Randall and his wife, Shpresa Lleshaj, attracted deputies’ attention on Oct. 10, when they tripped an alarm at the sandstone monument east of Billings, Mont. The monument was closed at the time because of the partial federal government shutdown.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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