Ex-Hart Football Player Arrested in Vandalism Case
John Harrison of Hart High, a member of The Times’ All-Valley football team last season, was arrested by Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies this week on charges of felony vandalism and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Harrison, 18, allegedly drove his 1995 Ford pick-up through a park at the Circle J Ranch in Saugus, tearing up sod, breaking sprinklers and knocking over more than a dozen trees.
Lt. Tim Peters of the Santa Clarita sheriff’s station said deputies arrested Harrison about 3 a.m. Monday after neighbors reported a disturbance in the park.
Another man, 18-year-old Adam Rasmussen of Newhall, who was allegedly a passenger in Harrison’s truck, was questioned by police and released without being charged.
“The kids call it ‘whomping,’ ” Peters said. “We’ve had a few incidents of this recently. “They take their trucks and they cut through the lawns and destroy the landscaping.”
City officials said if Harrison is convicted of the charges they will try to recover repair costs.
“Our preliminary estimate is that the damage was around $17,000, but it could be more than that,” said parks and recreation manager John Danielson.
In addition to the vandalism and drunken driving charges, Harrison was cited for possession of a counterfeit driver’s license, Peters said.
Harrison was released from custody Tuesday after posting bail on a $15,000 bond.