One arrested so far for damage to cornfield
A Pendleton, Ind., man remains in jail for his alleged involvement in a criminal mischief incident that destroyed a large portion of a cornfield in rural Clay County early Sunday morning.
Justin Waldridge, 29, was arrested early Sunday morning for driving an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in a cornfield located just off State Road 42 near the intersection of North County Road 475 East. He was booked into the Clay County Justice Center on preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, criminal mischief and trespass.
According to Sheriff Mike Heaton, the Clay County Sheriff's Department is continuing to investigate the criminal mischief report involving at least three ATVs and possibly a full-size vehicle.
"The property owner discovered one of the ATVs, which was later identified as reported stolen from Hendricks County," Heaton said.
Heaton told The Brazil Times Wednesday, deputies were dispatched to the area on a trespass/criminal mischief report Sunday morning witnessed several suspects on ATVs riding in the field and at least one dashboard camera in a police car captured video of the incident.
"We're looking for the others who were involved," he said.
The amount of extensive damage to the cornfield has yet to be determined.
"People really need to think about what they are doing," Heaton said about the incident. "This isn't a prank at all. A crop is the same thing as a paycheck for a farmer."
Facing a $7,000 cash bond (with 10 percent allowed), jail officials confirmed Waldridge remains incarcerated while awaiting formal court proceedings while the investigation continues.
"If anyone has any information about this incident, please contact us," Heaton said.
To report information about this incident or any other crime, contact the Clay County Sheriff's Department at 446-2535.
Not worth the chance
Property damage isn't something to laugh about.
"Persons who allegedly are involved in the type of activities that destroy property, especially a farmer's fields, are not truly aware of the consequences of their actions," Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger recently told The Brazil Times. "These types of damages have the potential of affecting a person's income and livelihood."
Which is why Indiana Statute provides victims the right to pursue reimbursement for damages.
According to Indiana Code 35-40-5-1-7, a victim has the right to pursue an order of restitution and other civil remedies against the person convicted of a crime against the victim.