ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – A 23-year-old man charged with causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage on two Southtowns golf courses told East Aurora Police he did it because he was mad that his girlfriend dumped him.
Austin Christopher is charged in Orchard Park and East Aurora with trespassing and felony criminal mischief for driving his pickup truck onto Harvest Hill and Bob-O-Link golf courses and doing several “donuts.”
Managers at Harvest Hill Golf Course say the damage there tops $50,000 because the 9th green was destroyed. Luckily for Bob-O-Link, the damage was contained to the practice area, but it will still take thousands of dollars to repair.
“The cops called me at about 3:30 in the morning. The vehicle came down the hill and did about three or four large donuts in the middle of our 9th green here,” Harvest Hill course superintendent Eric Tuchols said. “It kind of hurts. Kind of hurts our morale here, too.”
The damage could have been even worse. The driver at first drove up to the 18th green, before apparently changing his mind and heading over to the 9th. But when he drove past that spot, he was caught on camera.
“They have an extensive video surveillance system and were able to identify the individual and vehicle involved,” Orchard Park Police Chief Mark Pacholec said.
After a neighbor heard the noise around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday and called 911, police nabbed Christopher in his truck on Transit Road, which Tuchols says still had turf stuck to it.
“I went down to the police station and actually found some of our grass on the truck for the detective,” Tuchols said.
Christopher quickly bailed out of jail but it was short lived once East Aurora Police learned what happened to the Bob-O-Link golf course.
East Aurora Police say Christopher paid Bob-O-Link a visit that night as well, doing a few donuts in their practice area.
Officers say he wasn’t drunk. He wasn’t high. He was just upset because his girlfriend dumped him.
“There’s no reason for it. And it’s just disappointing when something like that happens,” Bob-O-Link manager Joe Ference said.
This was not Christopher’s first arrest for trespassing this summer. In June, State Police arrested him on charges he rode a four-wheeler onto a neighbor’s yard and started harassing them.
The managers at both golf courses want everyone to know they are still open. At Harvest Hill, there is a temporary 9th green.