On January 23, Al Steffen, groundskeeper at the “Field of Dreams” movie site, discovered the beloved Dyersville, Iowa tourist attraction had been vandalized.
Less than two weeks later, Steffen was still assessing the damages done to the field (damage estimates range between $5000 and $15,000 depending on if the sprinkler system was ruined) and a suspect was in custody.
Thursday, Austin Pape turned himself into authorities and was charged with second-degree criminal mischief and reckless driving.
But this is where it gets interesting.
According to police, Pape wasn’t alone. A witness told them he picked up her and a juvenile girl at a nearby Casey’s General Store and drove to the Field of Dreams movie site and then, well…he drove his truck onto the field itself.
And even though Pape admitted to police he caused the damage to the field, his lawyer said he will plead not guilty. If convicted, the 20-year-old faces up to five years in prison and a $7500 maximum fine.
Not long after the field was vandalized, a GoFundMe account was established to help cover some of the perceived costs and install a security system. After eleven days, the campaign was close to $20,000.