Vandals tear up golf course



All-terrain vehicle-riding vandals tore up five of Phoenix Lake Golf Course's nine greens early Saturday morning, causing an estimated $100,000 damage.

But it was back to business as usual yesterday after a crew of nine repaired as much of the damage as they could, owner Tom Parkhurst said this morning.

Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department officials said they believe they know who all the culprits are after arresting one man who implicated three other men he said were out with him early Saturday morning.

Matthew Thomas Harrison, 20, of Sonora, was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism and misdemeanor driving under the influence and booked into the county jail after a trio of deputies found him and his all-terrain vehicle near his house. He posted $50,000 bail around 2 p.m. Saturday and was released.

Deputies were alerted at about 2:30 a.m. when residents along the golf course called sheriff's dispatchers to report two motorcycles were tearing the course up.

Deputy Craig Wood arrived and saw a man on an ATV drive onto the ninth fairway from Country Club Lane. Wood followed him down to the eighth green.

The man got away, however, when the deputy couldn't follow him on the golf course paths. Two other deputies arrived, and with the help of homeowners along the course, a deputy found an ATV parked between a shed on the first green and Camino Del Parque North.

About 4 a.m., Cpl. Mark Kerzich spotted Harrison pulling into a driveway at a house on Camino Del Parque. Kerzich said Harrison, found with another young man, was muddy and had cuts and scratches all over his arms and hands.

After questioning Harrison, he admitted he was driving on the greens, and Kerzich arrested him, sheriff's reports said. Kerzich said Harrison appeared to be under the influence of something and when the deputies searched his pockets, they found a bag of marijuana.

Another deputy took a 20-year-old man with Harrison home and found an ATV with muddy wheels and a still-warm engine parked at the house.

The Union Democrat
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