PD: Man with ATV damages high school athletic fields - WFSB 3 Connecticut

PD: Man with ATV damages high school athletic fields in Waterbury

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WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

A Waterbury man was arrested after police said he damaged athletic fields at Wilby High School with an all-terrain vehicle over the weekend.

Officers were called to Wilby High School around Sunday after a report of someone damaging the fields with an ATV.

Dennis Rowell, 33, was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal mischief, second-degree breach of peace and second-degree criminal trespass.

Rowell, who has a long criminal history, was held on $750 bond and arraigned at Waterbury Superior Court on Monday.

"This is an incident of stupidity more than any kind of criminal intention," the attorney for Rowell said in the courtroom Monday.

Eyewitness News attempted to speak with the Rowell's family, but they declined to comment.

School officials said the fields were newly renovated after nine years and $10,000.

"There's something wrong," said Wilby High School Senior Todd Coelho, who is a pitcher on the baseball team. "Aren't there tracks you can go to? Why do you have to use our baseball field?"

Wilby High School Athletics Director, Steven Baldwin, said he caught Rowell, who already is on probation, red-handed.

"He was just riding around through the snow and the infields," he said.

With the fields being packed with snow, they are especially vulnerable.

"It's so wet, it'll (ATV) go deeper," said John Egan from Waterbury Parks Department. "It'll make more of a mess when the fields are wetter."

Police said it will cost thousands of dollars to repair the fields.

"With Municipal Stadium being down, we'll work very hard to get this ready and we'll put some extra manpower into this to make sure it's ready," Egan said.

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