The Soldotna skateboard park's entrance shows damage from a vandal's recent attack.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Vandalism at Soldotna’s trouble-plagued skateboard park resulted in $3,000 to $4,000 in damage this time, and in the arrest of an intoxicated Kenai man now charged with the destruction.
Mayor Dave Carey on Wednesday commended the Soldotna police for swift action in making the arrest.
The incident occurred late last month when police dispatchers received a report of a vehicle spinning its tires at the skate park at 2:30 in the morning.
As police responded, they were told the vehicle, a green 1997 Jeep Wrangler, was on Tyee Street headed toward the water tower.
Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver sped away.
One police car headed toward Foothill Boulevard to approach from the north and an Alaska State Trooper assisted, coming from Marydale Avenue to Foothill and around to the city water tower access road.
The Jeep continued fleeing, ignoring emergency lights of the police cars, and headed west on Marydale, driving over the sidewalk as it turned onto the Kenai Spur Highway.
The vehicle then made another right, pulling into the parking lot of the King Salmon restaurant and stopped.
Police Officer Mark Berestoff got out of his police car, drew his gun and ordered the driver to shut off his vehicle. At the same time, he saw four males jump from the passenger side of the Jeep just as the state trooper sergeant arrived on scene.
The trooper took control of the four juvenile males and Berestoff handcuffed the driver, Brian R. McCoy, 23, of Kenai.
According to a police report, several bottles of vodka were seen inside the Jeep and McCoy performed poorly on field sobriety tests. A breath test showed his blood-alcohol level to be more than twice the legal limit.
McCoy was arrested for driving under the influence and failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer, and was taken to Wildwood Pretrial Facility.
During further questioning, McCoy reportedly told police he bought vodka for the four juveniles, ages 14, 15, 16 and 17, and drove around with them while they drank it. He also said a bag of marijuana found in the Jeep was his, but he had not offered it to the youths nor smoked it in their presence.
He was further charged with furnishing alcohol to persons under 21, sixth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and a probation violation.
After police received a report of vandalism at the skateboard park, they questioned the teens, who said McCoy had dropped off the four at the park and went to the Tesoro2Go gas station.
When he returned, he gunned the engine and ran into the fence at least two times. The youths ran to him and told him to stop. Then they all got in the vehicle with him and he backed up and intentionally drove into the fence again.
McCoy was charged additionally with third-degree criminal mischief.
The next morning, the mayor was at the skate park and a 16-year-old male gave him a license plate he said he had found at the base of the damaged fence. The plate number was the same as that on the Jeep.
At Wednesday’s council meeting, Carey said he gave the license plate to the police and was told they had already made an arrest in the case.
Two of the teens who tested positive for alcohol were issued summonses for minor consuming. Police contacted the parents of all the youths.
The support pole adjacent to the park entrance was bent back into the park, the fence and support poles were severely bent and one of the skate ramp support poles was damaged.
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