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FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2007
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Arrest in truck sinking
Police say Hartselle teen not sole suspect in Wave Pool incident

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com · 340-2355

Decatur police arrested a Hartselle teen Thursday they say made waves by driving a dump truck into a pool at Point Mallard Park.

Officers went to the J. Gilmer Blackburn Aquatic Center at about 5 a.m. Sunday and found the truck submerged in the eight-foot-deep Wave Pool. Garbage bags floated nearby.

The 1-ton municipal vehicle, apparently used to collect garbage at the park, was resting against the wall at the back end of the pool.

“It was driven into the pool and it went all the way down,” said detective Sgt. Jeremy Hayes.

Hayes said police went to the park after receiving a tip from an anonymous caller about a juvenile driving the truck into the pool.

The 17-year-old whom police arrested was not a Point Mallard employee, Hayes said.

Hayes said police charged the teen with second-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, because officials anticipate repairs and cleaning for the truck and pool will cost more than $500 but less than $2,500, the amount of damage constituting a felony.

“Our purpose was to send a message to prevent this sort of activity. We also want to recoup the city’s losses, rather than leaving that to the taxpayers,” Hayes said.

Further arrests are expected, Hayes said.

“He (the 17-year-old arrested Thursday) was not the only person involved in this,” Hayes said.

Police released the teen to his parents.

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