TODAY   |  October 19, 2013

Boy Scout leaders defend dislodging ancient boulder

A video of three Boy Scout leaders dislodging a massive boulder off its perch has caused national outrage, but the men say they were doing the public a favor. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer.

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>>> this morning, authorities in utah are deciding whether to press charges against the boy scout leaders who recorded themselves toppling a boulder in a state park but the men who now say they are getting death threats claim that he did it for a very good reason. more now from miguel.

>> reporter: with soaring rock formations and spectacular views, utah 's goblin valley state park is a treasure only mother nature could create. the park is so beloved.

>> we go it. just a little bit.

>> reporter: this video has sparked nationwide outrage. three men, boy scout leaders, who took their troops to the park, toppled a rock formation 170 million years old in just 14 seconds.

>> we have now modified goblin valley .

>> yea!

>> a new goblin valley exists.

>> reporter: glenn taylor, a scout leader for 20 years, pushed the massive boulder off its perch as his son stood by. dave hall , a scout most his life, shot the video.

>> the first thing that we say after the rock is on the ground is, "a little kid right here could have been killed by this rock falling on them." it's all about saving lives.

>> reporter: after posting the clip on youtube, authorities say the three scout leaders could be charged with felony vandalism.

>> i was appalled that we had visitors in the park doing those type of activities.

>> reporter: in hindsight the scout leaders say maybe call a park ranger or if you push over a natural beauty, don't record it and upload it to social media .

>> it looks malicious. you're laughing and joking around. that is not the case is what you're saying?

>> when you're dealing with a 2,000-pound boulder and it's going to go down, there is adrenaline that is running. and, yeah, we're joking. i mean, it was -- it was spectacular.

>> reporter: this morning, the boy scouts of america called the behavior reprehensible. so do many others. for "today," miguel almaguer, highland, utah .