Vandalism in Resource Protection Area Results in Multiple Charges
Contact: Cyndy Holda, 252-473-2111 x148
An investigation by National Park Service Rangers of the fifth deliberate vandalism act of the 2010 season to resource protection areas within Cape Hatteras National Seashore has resulted in the apprehension of two suspects, Daniel Hunt, age 28 from Maryland and a local resident Brian Tillett, age 34, of Rodanthe, N.C. Charges have been issued to the two men for multiple violations.
The incident occurred at approximately 2:00 a.m. on the morning of July 1, 2010 on the beach near Sea Oats Drive area, north of the Rodanthe Pier. Evidence of two separate sets of ATV tire tracks were observed driving south on the beach for approximately two miles. The vehicle entered a sea turtle protection area, performed multiple swerves, “donuts” and jumping maneuvers. One set of tracks led to a cottage occupied by Hunt who confessed and identified the second driver. Hunt was charged with unsafe operation, operating an ORV in a seasonal ORV closure, entering a resource protection area in the national seashore, giving false information, disturbing wildlife and being intoxicated in the park. His ATV was seized as evidence in the crime. Tillett was charged with unsafe operation and operating an ORV in a seasonal ORV closure and driving on a suspended license.
NPS law enforcement personnel investigated the incident. If anyone has information about this or other resource protection violations that occur in the park, please call Dare Community Crime Line at 252-473-3111. Destruction of government property and entering a resource closure are federal criminal violations, each subject up to a $5,000.00 fine and up to six months imprisonment.
For up-to-date information on currently open or closed areas, check the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Google Earth maps at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm
Did You Know?
Lightning whelks eat about one large clam per month. The whelk pries the clam open with its muscular foot, wedges the clam open with its shell, then eats the soft inside of the clam. Lightning whelk shells, which whorl to the left, wash up on the beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.