UPDATED: High school students suspected in damage at Spring Creek Golf Center
WHITEWATER—High school students are suspected in the Saturday night vandalism at a Whitewater golf course, a Jefferson County Sheriff's Office captain said Wednesday morning.
Investigators have "some leads" in the damage at Spring Creek Golf Center, Capt. Jerry Haferman said, and are "speaking with some high school age students."
The owner and patrons of the Jefferson County golf course are offering a $2,400 reward for information on who vandalized the course's property.
Overnight Saturday, vandals drove Spring Creek Golf Center golf carts into the course's pond and Whitewater Creek after spinning doughnuts with them and scuffing the greens, owner Mike Majewski said.
The vandals ran over flagpoles, garbage cans and benches and ruined a portable toilet, vending machine and wooden tee markers.
The damage is estimated to be between $40,000 and $50,000, Majewski said.
“There were car parts all over the golf course,” Majewski said. “Carts were smashed, and they were sitting in different areas of the course. One of carts we found in the Whitewater Creek, probably about a 10 to 12 foot drop off. They must have pushed it off the side in to the creek.”
The golf course had 10 carts, and Majewski said all had "extreme damage.” One is still usable, two remain in the water, and the others are beyond repair.
Majewski said he got a call at 5:30 a.m. Sunday from one of his workers saying the property was vandalized.
When he arrived at his business of 26 years, he said it “literally looked like a bomb went off.”
“I believe they had a mission to do as much damage as they could.”
Community members and his workers banded together to clean up the course Sunday to be open Monday.
Thanks to the wind and dry weather, the greens were not as damaged as they could have been.
“If there is such a thing as getting lucky, we did,” Majewski said. “They tried to tear up the greens, which would have been the most devastating thing that could have happened to us. They just scuffed the greens, they did not tear up the sod. If they had torn up the sod, it would have been over. But we got very, very lucky there.”
Majewski and his wife offered a $500 award Sunday for information leading to an arrest. Then donations began pouring in from golfers and the community, pushing the reward to $2,400 by Tuesday.
“We saw the bad side of people with who did the golf course, but when you see the good side of people, I'm going to tell you, that's a lot stronger,” Majewski said.
Majewski said he thinks vandalism reported 10 days before at Whitewater Country Club was done by the same people and was a “trial run” for Saturday. A few carts were damaged at the country club, he said.
Haferman said the two events appear to be linked.
The investigation is ongoing. No arrests have been made as of Wednesday morning, Haferman said.