An episode of golf course vandalism in Maine is being viewed as a potential hate crime.
Cobbossee Colony Golf Course, located in Monmouth, Maine, was recently vandalized, with owner Bill Sylvester reporting to police Monday that somebody had left tire tracks after driving a golf cart around the course and across several greens.
That’s egregious in itself, but the worst of it came at the first green. On that opening putting surface, the vandal carved a large swastika into the turf near the hole.
The offensive symbol means this isn’t only a vandalism case but also one that investigates the act as a hate crime. The swastika carving is part of the estimated $2,000-3,000 of damage done by the vandalism.
The investigation has turned up a few suspects, but there hasn’t been enough evidence to charge any of them.
“This appears to have been teenagers who have bothered the tranquility of the neighborhood,” Monmouth Police Department Patrolman Michael Pershall said, via centralmaine.com. “I can’t make a definitive match, and I need that to bring a valid case.”
The vandalism is believed to have occurred between 9:30 p.m. Eastern on Sunday and 4 a.m. on Monday and has Sylvester pondering about investing in surveillance cameras.
If a person is charged for this vandalism, the investigation will be turned over to the Maine Attorney General’s Office, which typically handles hate crimes in the state.
Some of the damage has since been repaired and play continues at the layout, but that doesn’t mean the perpetrator should skate.
“There’s no place anywhere for something like that,” Sylvester said.
Agreed. There’s no place for golf course vandalism and certainly no place for this type of hate.