WILLMAR -- It was an interesting night on the green Tuesday at Eagle Creek Golf Course and not because someone hit a hole in one. Instead, an allegedly impaired driver ended up driving on the golf course, causing some damage, according to the Willmar Police Department. No injuries were reported.
The suspect, Trevor Lane Baker, 20, of Spicer, has been charged with two gross misdemeanors of driving while impaired and misdemeanor charges of reckless driving, fourth-degree damage to property, open bottle and disorderly conduct. His next court appearance is July 23 in Kandiyohi County District Court.
Willmar Police Captain Michael Anderson said the department had received several driving complaints about Baker before he was found at the golf course.
Law enforcement officers were dispatched to the scene around 7:35 p.m. Tuesday. The first calls said Baker had been southbound on U.S. Highway 71, heading into Willmar and then turned toward the golf course.
Steve Ammermann, publisher of the West Central Tribune, happened to be golfing at the course and saw the entire episode. Ammermann said he was standing by the hole 17 tee box when he saw a pickup truck drive up on to the course from 26th Avenue Northeast and on to the fairway near hole 16. The driver, later identified by police as Baker, then started driving up the cart path between holes 16 and 17, heading toward the front of the 17 tee box.
"He did two doughnuts in front of the tee box," Ammermann said.
Baker then started down the rock retaining wall that borders Hawk Creek, nearly tipping over.
"He was very close to rolling into the creek," Ammermann said.
The truck spun around a few times by the creek before driving up the course toward the green of hole 15. Baker drove down a hill and back on the road, headed toward the Oaks restaurant.
Police arrived on the scene soon after Ammermann and other witnesses called 911.
"I would say 30 seconds after the phone call I heard sirens," Ammermann said.
The police arrested Baker in front of the Oaks.
"I didn't know what he was going to do. It was crazy," Ammermann said.
How much damage was done to the golf course is still to be determined, the news release said.
Ammermann believes the wet grass might have helped in keeping the damage down, as the truck tires weren't able to get a firm enough grip to tear up the course.
The Willmar Police Department was assisted by the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office at the scene.