Man damages green by ‘doing donuts’


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Take a look inside President Donald Trump’s private golf club in Bedminster.
Nick Muscavage/Staff Video

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — Just days after he allegedly broke into one of Taylor Swift’s homes, a 26-year-old Hunterdon (New Jersey) County man has been charged with causing more than $20,000 in damage by “doing donuts” on two greens at Trump National Golf Course.

Richard J. McEwan of Holland Township was taken into custody on Tuesday and charged with third-degree criminal mischief, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson 

The prosecutor’s office also confirmed McEwan also was recently charged with breaking into singer Taylor’s Swift’s beachfront Rhode Island mansion on Aug. 30.

McEwan apparently took off his shoes in the mansion because he wanted to be polite, according to an Associated Press story.

McEwan has been charged with breaking and entering and willful trespassing in the Taylor Swift case. Police said no one was home when the incident occurred.

A few days later, on Sept. 3, Bedminster police received a call reporting damage to the course owned by President Trump and where he had spent his vacation last month.

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A mower cuts one of the fairways near the former dairy barn at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster. (Photo: DAVID BERGELAND, Courier News)

Arriving officers learned that around 5:30 p.m. local time, a course employee saw a vehicle doing donuts on the 11th hole of one of the two courses, the release states. The golf club is scheduled to host the PGA Championship in 2022 and was the setting of the U.S. Women’s Open in 2017.

The employee told police he was standing in the fairway when he heard loud music, then turned and spotted a Ford sedan occupied by one person vandalizing the hole.

A search of the area found a black piece of plastic, labeled Ford, that was left at the scene.

The damage to the green was estimated at more than $10,000, the release states.  

Around 3:36 p.m. Sunday, Bedminster police responded to the course again for a report of a vehicle doing donuts on the 13th green, which caused damage estimated to be between $7,000 and $9,000, the release states.

When police arrived, witnesses reported a blue Ford compact car with a Rutgers sticker was seen being driven by a young white male. Police obtained a partial license plate of the vehicle, according to the release.

An investigation by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and Bedminster police, who had the partial license plate, led to the identification of the vehicle as a 2006 Ford Focus belonging to McEwan, the release states.   

On Tuesday, assisted by the Holland Township Police Department, McEwan was located at his home, taken into custody and charged with criminal mischief, a third-degree crime, and released pending a future court date, the release states.

Suzanne Russell covers crime, courts, and other forms of mayhem from throughout the Central Jersey area for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact her at srussell@gannettnj.com. Follow her on Twitter @SRussellMyCJ.

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