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Four teens arrested at BGC

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Four teenagers were arrested last week after creating a disturbance at the Bandera Boys & Girls Club, located on Maple Street across from Bandera City Park, according to City Marshal Will Dietrich. Regarding the arrests, Dietrich noted, "This was the third time vandalism and mischief had occurred at the club and we wanted to send a message that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated."
A resident on Cedar Street reported the incident to emergency dispatch at 11 pm Tuesday, July 21. "The resident could hear tires squealing from three streets over and two houses up from the Boys & Girls Club," Dietrich said. When Deputy Marshal Earl Heidelberg arrived, he found several vehicles in the area. According to a witness, drivers of a Firebird and pickup truck had been executing "donuts" in the BGC parking lot and on the cement basketball court located in an unenclosed sheet metal building.
Suspects arrested and charged with misdemeanors included Brendon Watson, 19; Bland Long, 17; Austin Small, 19; and Robert Hooks, 19.
Watson was charged with criminal mischief for allegedly executing vehicular donuts in the parking lot and for marijuana possession. Bland was charged with criminal mischief for allegedly driving recklessly on the basketball court and for having inhalant paraphernalia. Small was taken into custody for alleged possession of both marijuana and paraphernalia and Hooks has been charged as a minor in possession of alcohol, according to the arrest report.
All were released from the Bandera County Jail the next day after posting bonds that ranged from $250 to $500.
"Watson and Long confessed to doing donuts after a witness confirmed their actions," Dietrich said. "In addition to finding beer bottles in one vehicle, during a consensual search, Deputy Heidelberg discovered marijuana in another vehicle. Later, after the vehicles were towed, a police inventory came up with marijuana in all three."
According to reports, one of the arrested teens was on his last step to becoming an Eagle Scout.
When apprised of the incident, Mike Pimpinella, newly appointed executive director of the Bandera BGC, indicated to authorities he wanted charges to go forward against the arrested teens.
"He was particularly unhappy because Brendon Watson was in the process of completing court-mandated community service at the club as a condition of probation," Dietrich said. Watson's probation officer has purportedly requested a copy of the police report.
"This kind of criminal behavior is becoming a serious on-going problem. Two months ago, someone doing donuts kicked up rocks that broke windows in the club's van," Dietrich noted.
"The Boys & Girls Club is supposed to be a safe place for kids to go and learn about values and have a good time in a safe environment. It is not fair for others to spoil it."
Dietrich also noted that the city's law enforcement officers frequently work with the club's staff and administrators to promote extra-curricular activities. As an example, Dietrich said that Reserve Deputy Amanda Wedgworth assists with the "Smart Girls" program and also serves as a mentor at the BGC.
"We take a real interest in what the staff is doing and always tell them and the members, 'We're here to help and lookout for you'," Dietrich said.