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Police: Friend's dare caused man to turf Red Land High School's baseball field

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Fairview Twp. Police are asking for the public's help to identify vandals who caused several thousand dollars in damage to Red Land High School's athletic fields by turfing them the night of Friday, Dec. 18, 2020.

A Newberry Township man is facing a felony charge of criminal mischief for allegedly causing more than $9,000 worth of damage to Red Land High School's athletic fields last month.

Patrick Francis O'Brien, a former Red Land student, told officers he didn't intend to cause any damage, according to charging documents filed by Fairview Township Police.

The vandalism happened the night of Dec. 18, sometime after 9 p.m., police have said. 

Fairview Township Police released still photos to the media that came from the high school's security video on Jan. 4. Several tipsters alerted investigators that the gray Ford F-150 pickup truck seen in the video is owned by O'Brien, according to charging documents.

O'Brien, 25, was remorseful and told investigators he never intended to cause any damage, documents state.

"He told me his friend challenged him that his truck would not make it down the hill in the snow and he accepted the challenge which resulted in the field being damaged," according to charging documents filed by township Detective Anthony Jackson.

O'Brien's truck became mired at one point, and at least three other vehicles arrived to help free it, according to to township police.

Fairview Twp. Police are asking for the public's help to identify vandals who caused several thousand dollars in damage to Red Land High School's athletic fields by turfing them the night of Friday, Dec. 18, 2020.

On Thursday, Fairview Township Police received a copy of the district's damage estimate, which lists total damage at $9,250.

The estimate covers "equipment mobilization," materials and labor, documents state.

O'Brien, of the 300 block of Pleasant View Drive, has not yet been arraigned on his third-degree felony charge of criminal mischief, according to court records for the office of District Judge Scott Gross.

Red Land High School is in the 500 block of Fishing Creek Road.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.