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People have been driving into Sellwood Park and spinning their cars to tear up the grass. This time the vandal was caught

DAVID F. ASHTON - This is the third time that someone has driven into Sellwood Park and ripped up lawn, turning donuts, a disgusted neighbor says. It's happened more than once lately, say neighbors near Sellwood Park: Vehicles driving up on the lawn, skidding around in circles, ripping up the turf, and then speeding off.

One such occurrence was on Wednesday evening, November 24, a little after 10:21 p.m. A neighbor, who asked not to be identified said he'd witnessed the incident. "I was driving home along S.E. 7th Avenue and noticed this jerk driving around in the park, turning 'donuts', spinning around, tearing up the grass in Sellwood Park.

"I saw the vehicle exiting the park, drive over the sidewalk and skid sideways on 7th Avenue at Bidwell," he continued. "I followed the car, and snapped a picture of the back of the vehicle, including the license plate, at the corner of Tacoma Street and 13th."

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - This photo, snapped by the neighbor who followed the car out of the park, helped police find and arrest the youthful vandal.  Apparently, another neighbor also videoed the same event, and put the recording on social media. The two neighbors both contacted the Portland Police Bureau and providied photographic evidence.

Because the Portland Police Bureau is short-staffed, and because "turning donuts in the park" could be considered a low-level crime, the neighbors didn't expect an arrest.

However, a neighborhood Central Precinct officer did take on the case, and the culprit was fingered, according to police spokesperson Lt. Nathan Sheppard. "We won't be releasing the subject's name, due to the subject's age.

"However, I can confirm the subject was cited for Reckless Driving and Criminal Mischief," Lt. Sheppard said. "He was cooperative with the investigation, showed remorse, and has offered to pay for the damage he caused to the park."

Take heart, neighbors! Reporting incidents like these do help reduce crime, and perhaps may cause some perpetrators to mend their ways.


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