MILITARY & MOTORCYCLES_MAY 10, 2013 | Born To Ride Motorcycle Magazine - Motorcycle TV, Radio, Events, News and Motorcycle Blog


Published on May 10, 2013 under Born To Ride LifeStyle

Bradenton Veterans Park

First of all I made a mistake in last week’s column. Here are the corrected sentences. “It’s not the weapons that are killing innocent people; it’s the person behind the trigger who is. Notice I said ‘innocent’ people in the previous sentence.”


I woke up last Tuesday and read in the Bradenton Herald where some unknown person(s) damaged the Bradenton Veterans Park which is situated near the new skateboard facility along the River Walk Park.


I have to tell you I take the damage very personally due to the fact my family have three bricks situated within the park for those of us who have served in the military.


Due to the type of damage it was suggested the ‘skateboarders’ were too blame. Immediately that invoked a response from those who utilize the skateboard facility insomuch as ‘it wasn’t us.’

The Bradenton Police Department went as far as placing a uniformed officer and then a camera tower in the area of the skateboard park due to problems in the area.


I am not accusing anyone who might ride their bikes and skateboards at the park of the damage, however, I am relatively sure they saw something or have heard rumors of who might have committed the damage and failed to report it to law enforcement. If you saw it and didn’t report the crime it makes you an accessory after the fact.


In past columns I have mentioned 10 percent of Americans have served in the military to protect the other 90 percent. The 10 percent don’t begrudge the 90 percent for not serving as it is a

personal life choice. Having said that, we who did serve do not want folks destroying Our Veteran Memorials.


Florida State Statue states “The offense of Criminal Mischief is committed when you willfully and maliciously damage any property belonging to someone else. It can be willful or negligent, mischievous or vengeful behavior that results in someone’s property being damaged or destroyed.” The penalty is dependent upon the amount of damage, etc. Here is what can be expected if you are charged under the statue;

1. – If the damage is valued at less than $200, the charge you face is a 2nd degree misdemeanor punishable by 60 days in jail and $500 in fines.

2. – If the damage is between $200 and $1,000, the charge entered is a 1st degree misdemeanor which carries a potential sentence of up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines.

3. – If the damage is valued at more than $1,000 you will face a 3rd degree felony charge and a potential penalty of up to 5 years in prison and fines reaching $5,000.


For those of you who say I’m old and don’t understand skateboarders, back in the day (54 years ago) I rode my 12-inch skateboard down the Desoto Bridge until the wooden wheels disengaged and I busted my backside.


God Bless America, those who serve in uniform and God help those who damaged the Veterans Park.

Terry Longpre


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