Joyride on golf carts in Peters leads to arrests

August 25, 2014

A joyride on two stolen golf carts Saturday night landed three men in Washington County jail after one of them was apprehended by Peters Township police near the golf course on Church Hill Road.

Michael J. Stenger, 24, of 154 Irishtown Road Ext., Venetia, Daniel R. Chapman, 24, of 182 Snowdrift Road, Eighty Four, and Eugene Daniel Brown, 24, of 136 Valley View Drive, Venetia, are charged with theft of a motor vehicle, unauthorized use of a vehicle and trespass. Stenger also is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

Police were called about 10:30 p.m. Saturday by a resident of the area who reported seeing a golf cart being driven off the property of Scenic Valley Golf Course and onto Church Hill Road.

A resident saw a man, later identified by police as Stenger, drive off the property into a cul-de-sac on Oak Ridge Road, and gave chase until police arrived. Police said Stenger crashed the cart near Oak Ridge and was found near the course’s maintenance building. He appeared highly intoxicated and had a blood-alcohol content nearly three times the 0.08 percent limit presumed for intoxication, police said.

Chapman, who allegedly had taken a second cart for a ride on the course, fled but was later located, police said. Police said they learned Sunday morning that Brown reportedly was on the cart with Stenger. A witness took a photograph showing Brown with Stenger on the cart, police said. He also was taken into custody.

Steven McCloskey, who owns the course, told police that a chain on the front gate had been removed and was on the ground. Police said they later determined it was Stenger who removed the chain from the gate. McCloskey told police that each cart is valued at $4,500.

A red Porsche police said is registered to Stenger’s parents was found on the golf course property.

All three were arraigned before District Judge James Ellis and placed in jail on $2,500 bonds. A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 7 before Ellis. Stenger and Chapman have been released after posting bond, while Brown remained in jail as of Monday afternoon.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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