According to a report from Denverite, 71-year-old Arslan Guney, was arrested on March 17, after being accused of causing "significant damage" to the floor at the Central Park Recreation Center in Denver, Colorado.
The Pickleball Problem
Guney is a pickleball player who enjoys teaching others the game. Pickleball is a fun sport that combines tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. The Pickleball court is smaller than your average tennis court and uses a different kind of ball and racquet.
The Central Park Recreation Center has many pickleball players but doesn't have an actual pickleball court with the standard markings.
Pickleball players spoke with Parks and Rec staff about adding permanent lines to the courts for Pickleball, but their request was declined.
Why This Colorado Man Has Been Deemed Mischievous
After speaking with Parks and Rec staff in a meeting, it was decided that Guney would provide a map that the staff could use to set up the court correctly.
Parks and Rec staff had previously placed yellow markers to mark the boundaries of the Pickleball court, but Guney says that those markers moved and that permanent boundaries needed to be set.
On March 14, Guney asked Parks and Rec staff for a permanent marker. Guney had noticed that pre-existing markings were fading, and drew boxes around marked "Xs" to signify where the temporary yellow markings should appear.
However, folks at the Parks and Rec department were far from thankful and considered Guney's actions as an act of vandalism and criminal mischief.
The Real Pickle, Facing Felony Charges
Staff found the markings on the floor and referred to their video surveillance to find out who placed them there.
The deputy executive director of Parks and Recreation, John Martinez, then instructed a staff member to remove the markings using a solvent. Unfortunately, the solvent that was used actually removed some of the finish of the courts.
A warrant obtained by Denverite lists the damage as $9,344.58.
“Anytime there’s any type of vandalism at any of our city-owned facilities, we do file a police report,” Karvaski said. “It’s protocol to file a report. A person took a permanent marker, came into the gym, and marked the floor. That would be considered vandalism. Similar to if we walked into the City and County Building and drew on the floor.”
Guney and his attorney Hollynd Hoskins have attempted to make amends with the Center, but charges are still pending and Guney is now indefinitely banned from any and all Denver rec centers.
“He had no intention of destroying or damaging,” Hoskins stated to Denverite.
“He thought because of the previous marks there would be no problem. It’s not criminal mischief. He had no intention to deface, to damage or destroy property.”