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Charges allege golf carts taken for joy rides

October 12, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Riding the bumper cars in an amusement park probably will cost a couple of bucks and lead to a headache, but taking people's golf carts and ramming them into one another can lead to criminal charges.

That's what police allege happened after three golf carts were taken from River Bend campground in Falling Waters, W.Va., in August and used to play "bumper cars," according to paperwork filed over the weekend in Berkeley County Magistrate Court.

Frank Keith "Frog" Brinkmeyer, 35, of 1654 Williamsport Pike, Falling Waters, was arraigned Monday on two counts of destruction of property and two counts of unlawful taking of a vehicle.

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West Virginia State Police Trooper J.D. Burkhart wrote in court records that the carts were taken either Aug. 7 or 8. A security guard found them Aug. 9, damaged and abandoned, records state.

Several people agreed to speak to police, with all saying a man nicknamed "Frog" had been involved, records allege. One woman, identified in court records as Samantha Mills, said she was riding in one of the carts with "Frog."

"She advised they were racing through the woods when Frog wrecked the golf cart. She advised the roof snapped and Frog took it the rest of the way off. She advised she was on the golf cart when Frog wrecked and that was how she got cuts on her right foot," Burkhart wrote in court records.

Another woman, Samantha Becicka, told police she was riding in a separate car with another man, records state.

"(Becicka) advised they were riding around driving like they were on bumper cars hitting each other," Burkhart wrote in court records.

A master-type of key that another man had that can be used to start several kinds of golf carts was used to take at least one of the carts, police said.

Three golf carts were involved, with the damage done to them totaling thousands of dollars, police said.

Brinkmeyer was released Tuesday on $10,000 bail.

Conviction on a charge of destruction of property carries a sentence of up to one year in jail, while conviction on a charge of unlawful taking of a vehicle carries a sentence of up to six months in jail. Both charges also carry fines of up to $500.

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