Vandals destroy Duncan Park golf green

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 28, 2010

NATCHEZ — Vandals tore through Duncan Park Golf Course Thursday night, destroying the 18th green and disgusting city officials and frequent golfers.

Duncan Park Golf Course Superintendent Greg Brooking said Friday this is the second time in almost two years the 18th green has been vandalized.

“These people dug into the soil a foot and a half to two feet deep across the green,” Brooking said. “They basically destroyed the green.”

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Brooking estimates repairs will cost $10,000, and the 18th green won’t likely be in play until next year.

Two other greens will be open for play next month after vandals sprayed herbicide on the golf course less than one year ago.

Brooking said the golf course is open to all, but he is considering permanently barring the vandal or vandals if they are found.

“Taxpayers pay to have that golf course maintained, and more than 10,000 people have walked across that green,” Brooking said. “But one person (Thursday night) told those 10,000 people, ‘Screw y’all.’ And he told the taxpayers, ‘To hell with y’all’s money that y’all pay to keep it nice.’

“It could simply be a stupid child that doesn’t even think of the impact (their actions) have on other people, but this action is far from silly, it’s violent.”

Travis Leggett, who plays at golf course at least once a week, is also frustrated by the vandalism.

“I think somebody’s got way too much time on their hands,” Leggett said. “This is a public course, it’s for everybody’s enjoyment, but a few people want to do stuff like this to get their entertainment.”

Aldermen Dan Dillard, who serves as chairman of the city’s recreation committee, said the city must take measures to prevent further vandalism at the golf course.

“It really makes me sick to think somebody would do that to a public property of any kind, and what concerns me about it is that it’s too juvenile to be an adult and too vicious to be a juvenile, so I really don’t understand who would do something like this,” Dillard said.

“If we’re fortunate to find out who did this, we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

Police Chief Mike Mullins said the suspects will face charges of felony malicious mischief if captured. Brooking said the police usually lock the gates at Duncan Park at 10 p.m., but he’s not certain the gates were locked at that time Thursday night.

“(The police) were going to check their records and see what time they actually closed the gate,” Brooking said. “(The suspects) definitely came in off the road, came down the road and down the cart path. Without the park being secured, this could happen to us every day, every night to every green.”

According to the police log, the gates were closed at approximately midnight. Mullins said sometimes the gates are closed later than usual because officers are responding to dispatch calls.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is urged to call Miss-Lou Crime Stoppers at 601 442-5000. A cash reward is being offered.