Teen does $18K damage to golf course, gets 150 days in jailPublished 11:13am Friday, August 10, 2012
CASSOPOLIS — A 17-year-old Cassopolis man might want a mulligan for his actions at a Cassopolis golf course.
Blair Mitchell and two juvenile co-defendants broke into Park Shore Golf Course on Pearl Street on June 16 and did nearly $19,000 worth of damage.
Cass County Circuit Court heard Mitchell and his co-defendants stole 16 golf carts and took several of them for a joy ride around the course, ramming them into each other and into other things on the course. They also stole a forklift and took it for a spin around the grounds in addition to stealing golf merchandise and other items from concessions.
To top it off, Mitchell sprayed painted gang and anti-police graffiti on a train underpass near the golf course, including “phallic pornographic depictions.”
Judge Michael Dodge sentenced Mitchell Friday to three years probation, ordering him to serve the first 300 days in Cass County Jail with credit for 55 days served. After 150 days Mitchell may serve the remaining sentence on tether. He was ordered to repay the golf course $18,821 in restitution.
Dodge described Mitchell’s actions as senseless acts of vandalism.
“Right in the heart of the golf season to do this kind of damage … has to be pretty destructive,” Dodge said. “This is enough to cause a business to fail, especially at a time when they may have been struggling anyway.”
Mitchell’s prior criminal record includes an assault and battery charge in May. He was on probation when he committed the crimes at the golf course.
Mitchell’s defense attorney, Gregory Feldman, said his client, at age 17, was unable to appreciate what impact his actions would have on the rest of his life.
Mitchell now has six felony convictions on his record.