This week’s crime briefs include incidents involving clubs and golf courses in Texas, Michigan, California and New York.
- A 59-year-old man was being treated for severe injuries on October 1st after a maintenance vehicle he was riding at Ridglea Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, went off a 25-foot embankment and into a creek, KXAS-TV NBC 5 of Dallas/Fort Worth reported.
The man, whose name had not yet been released, was driving a three-wheeled sand trap maintenance vehicle when it went off an embankment at about 9 a.m., KXAS reported.
According to Fort Worth police, one of the man’s co-workers spotted the man face down in the water and jumped in to rescue him. Firefighters arrived a short time later and removed the man from the creekbed and began treating his injuries. He was eventually flown by CareFlite to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, where he was believed to be in serious condition, KXAS reported.
- Thousands of dollars of damage was done to the 16th green at Timbers Golf Course in Vassar, Mich., WNEM TV of Saginaw, Mich. reported, when a foursome on the course apparently used clubs to put dozens of deep gouges and rips into the turf.
“The first word that came to my mind was: idiots,” Tim Sheridan, the course’s Superintendent told WNEM of his reaction after viewing the damage.
“This is way beyond anything that I’ve ever seen before, and with 30 years in the business I’ve actually seen quite a bit of vandalism,” Sheridan said.
The vandals did leave some clues for Sheridan in the patterns of what they left behind, Sheridan told WNEM. “I can tell for sure [that] an iron, and mostly a putter, [were used] based on the shape of the divots and the way they are formed,” Sheridan said. “And actually [it also looks like] probably a left-handed person was involved.”
Sheridan didn’t have an estimate yet on how much it would cost to repair the green, but said it would be in the thousands of dollars, WNEM reported, and that it could take a few weeks to get the green looking halfway decent again.
WNEM’s report and pictures of the damage can be viewed at http://www.wnem.com/story/30134458/golf-course-vandalism-in-the-thousands-of-dollars#ixzz3nPfRoMD6
A sheriff’s deputy showed up Monday morning to scope out the scene and investigate the case.
A report about the vandalism on MLive.com said that the turf on the greens was Penncross Bentgrass and that replacement would cost more than $20,000.
A green costs between $20,000 to $30,000 to replace, Timbers Course Manager, Patty Tanner, told MLive.com. “It’s devastating and disgusting,” said Tanner. The 16th hole had been closed indefinitely to start to repair the damage and set up a makeshift green, she noted.
- A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted a Salinas, Calif. man on bank fraud and aggravated identity theft charges after he tried to embezzle money from Tehama Golf Club in Carmel, Calif., the Monterey (Calif.) Herald reported.
According to the indictment, from 2009 through February 2014, Neal Morton, who was employed in Tehama’s accounting department at Tehama Golf Club, issued or caused to be issued checks drawn on the club’s bank accounts that were made payable to himself, the Herald reported.
Morton either made or caused to be made entries in Tehama’s accounting records, falsely reflecting that the checks were for valid business expenses when in fact they were made payable to himself, the Herald reported. Morton deposited the proceeds from the fraudulent checks into a bank account he controlled.
Morton forged signatures using electronic copies of them that he had saved on his computer, the Herald reported, and in at least one instance he forged a co-signer’s signature by hand.
If convicted, Morton faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million for bank fraud.
- Arrests have been made of five people who used golf carts to play bumper cars at Amsterdam (N.Y.) Municipal Golf Course, The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, N.Y. reported. On September 22, police said, thesuspects entered a storage building at the course and stole five golf cars, which they drove onto the course and started smashing into each other, causing over $7,000 in damage.
The suspects, ranging in age from 29 to 17, have been charged with one count each of Criminal Trespass and Criminal Mischief and were issued appearance tickets to appear in Amsterdam City Court at a later date.