Skate Park Clean-up

August 25, 2004 -- Posted 6:00 p.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- The city of Jonesboro tells a man charged with destroying a local park to put the breaks on cleaning it up.

Downtown property owner Chris Baugh was arrested and charged on Tuesday with second degree criminal mischief for trashing much of the equipment at the Jonesboro Skate Park.

Jonesboro city employees were on the scene Wednesday morning tending to damage at the city's downtown skateboard park. The park was destroyed when police say downtown property owner Chris Baugh ran over much of the equipment with a front-end loader. The park was a personal pet project for city employee Aaron Richardson.

"We're just down here this morning trying to be sure that things are cleaned up properly, anything that's not structurally safe is out of the area," said Richardson.

Fundraisers are being planned to raise money to re-build the park. Damage is estimated at 5 thousand dollars. K-8 news had learned Baugh was planning to come out and clean it up. His attorney, Paul Ford, told K-8 News Baugh was preparing to do whatever was necessary to make things right, but was asked not to by the city.

"I've asked the Parks Department not to go back out there and rebuild anything at this point, I need to talk to the City Attorney about this," said Jonesboro Mayor Hubert Brodell.

Paul Ford says his client regrets the entire matter and looks forward to doing what he needs to do to resolve the matter justly, and fairly considering all parties involved.

When asked why Mr. Baugh did something like this, Ford declined to answer specifically but indicated that a public statement would be made by Mr. Baugh in the near future.