5:19 PM: A 65-year-old man was arrested Wednesday in connection with vandalism of trees in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, police said today.
Ken Frisch, a San Francisco resident, was arrested at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday after officers witnessed him damaging trees in the park, police spokeswoman Officer Tracy Turner said.
Frisch was cited for malicious destruction of property, removal of a tree, wood or flowers from the park, feeding squirrels and a raccoon, and unauthorized performance of labor for apparently altering a park path, Turner said.
News of the man’s arrest came from the Police Department’s Richmond Station, which said in a weekly newsletter that police had “been searching for him for some time.”
San Francisco Recreation and Park spokesman Elton Pon said Frisch had allegedly been harassing city gardeners for some time, but said that the department does not believe he is the same suspect responsible for other vandalism that has damaged more than 200 trees in the park since last September.
The vandal or vandals in those cases have targeted young trees in sections of the park marked as undergoing reforestation. The damage has cost the city upwards of $50,000, park officials said.
Rec and Park director of operations Denny Kern said in a statement, “Our Park Patrol unit works closely with police throughout the year, and we are grateful for the fine job the police have done to ensure the public’s safety in the park.”
3:22 PM: San Francisco police said today that they have made an arrest in connection with the vandalism of trees in Golden Gate Park.
A man was arrested Wednesday after officers witnessed him damaging trees in the park, police said in a weekly newsletter distributed by the department’s Richmond Station.
The man’s name has not been released, but police said they had “been searching for him for some time.”
Investigators did not say whether they believe the man is responsible for all of the vandalism, which has damaged more than 200 trees in the park since last September.
The vandal or vandals targeted young trees in sections of the park marked as undergoing reforestation. The damage has cost the city at least $50,000, park officials said.
San Francisco Recreation and Park officials were not immediately available to comment on the vandalism arrest today.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News