Parks crack down on drugs, alcohol
State and local parks are not the places to unwind with drugs and alcohol on hot summer days.
That’s the message officials are driving home, following nine recent arrests at Madison Lake State Park and Prairie Oaks Metro Park in Madison County.
Jennifer E. Cockerham, 23, 2854 LaVista Dr., Columbus; Danyeal Saleh, 23, 5816 Parkside Crossing, Dublin; and Clayton Williams, 30, 962 Campbell Ave., Columbus, were cited by state wildlife officer Matt Teders about 7 p.m. on June 22 as the three allegedly shared a “joint” on the beach at Madison Lake.
Court documents said Teders was using a telescope to conduct surveillance from the west side of the lake when he spotted the three passing the hand-rolled cigarette. When he approached the group, they admitted obtaining the drug from a relative.
Cases against Cockerham and Williams were later dismissed by the county prosecutor. Municipal Court Judge Eric Schooley issued an arrest warrant for Saleh for failing to appear at a July 17 trial.
In addition, six other people were charged with drug and alcohol violations, stemming from two separate incidents at Prairie Oaks Metro Park near West Jefferson.
Shawn P. Finneran, 22, 5721 Bonaly Ct., Dublin; Jacqueline K. Brumfield, 20, 175 Carpenter Rd., Gahanna; and Patrick J. Rettig, 22, 8791 Morris Rd., Hilliard, were convicted on July 11 of possessing beer in the metro park about 6:30 p.m. on June 20. Each was ordered to pay $250 in fines and court costs.
Also on July 11, Amber Nicole Purdin, 18, 2342 Myrtle Valley Dr., Columbus, was convicted of possessing a glass pipe with marijuana residue at the metro park on June 27. She was fined $250 and sentenced to 30 days in jail. The jail time was suspended and Purdin was ordered to serve 40 hours of community service.
Kyou Wilde Honma, 20, 2712 Goldenstrand Dr., Hilliard, was convicted of possessing marijuana at the park on the same day. Honma was ordered to pay $250 in fines and costs. Nathan B. Stepp, 23, 1355 Brookforest Dr., Columbus, was convicted of possessing alcohol at the park. He was also ordered to pay $250.
Franklin County Metro Park Ranger Joshua Hough was on routine patrol in the park about 7:50 p.m. on June 27 when he spotted Purdin, Honma and Stepp in the Beaver Lake parking lot with cans of "hard cider" on the hood of their car.
A subsequent search turned up marijuana in the car’s glove compartment, a pipe with marijuana residue in Purdin’s purse and a baggie containing marijuana buds on Honma. Honma presented a California medical marijuana card that carries no legal weight in Ohio.
A check of the rules showed alcohol is permitted only in Ohio State Park resort lodges and cabins, as well as in tents and recreational vehicles within state park campgrounds.
A special permit is needed for alcohol use in Franklin County Metro Park facilities, except for the golf courses where alcohol is generally allowed.
Possession of marijuana anywhere in Ohio is a violation of state law.