Joyrider Causes $10,000 In Damage To Rockland County Gaelic Football Field

ORANGETOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A late night joyride ended with thousands of dollars in damage to an athletic field in Rockland County.

As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, the incident has derailed the fun for hundreds of young athletes.

Police took to Facebook to find the culprits.

The vandals entered the Rockland County Gaelic football complex in Orangetown late Friday night. A white pickup truck full of joyriders was caught on security camera tearing up the carefully cared-for sod and making the surface unplayable.

“He made two runs in here — spinning his tires, taking off at high speeds,” said Brian Pearson of the Gaelic Athletic Association. ‘It’s really going to stop us from using the fields.”

Weekends during the season, the fields are tightly scheduled. There are 700 members of the Gaelic Football Association that play there.

The good news is this comes at the end of the season and last few games can be moved to the practice field over there. The bad news is that this damage is serious, it won’t repair itself, and it’s going to take a lot more than a little grass seed.

“Basically, we have to cut out all the areas where there’s all the damage, re-topsoil it, grade it, and install new turf sod,” said John McIntyre, the groundskeeper for the complex. “No, not cheap at all; it’s a lot of work.”

The cost for repairs will amount to $10,000. To find the driver of the van, Orangetown police put out surveillance video on social media and the pressure was on.

An out-of-town college student saw the video and turned himself in Thursday afternoon.

“I don’t think the intent was to create the damage that it became,” said Orangetown police Capt. Donald Butterworth. “You know, I don’t think they went out thinking it was as bad as it was.”

“Surely you know it’s somebody’s property,” Pearson said. “You should know not to do what he did on it.”

The driver has offered restitution. Police are unsure whether he will be arrested, and plan to make heavy use of the online option in the future.

Police said the young driver’s parents encouraged him to turn himself in.


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