Local News

Men charged with riding ATVs on closed beach

Posted July 2, 2010 10:44 a.m. EDT

— A Rodanthe resident and a visitor from Maryland have been charged with riding ATVs in an area of Cape Hatteras National Seashore closed to off-road vehicles.

Park rangers said they found two sets of ATV tracks near Sea Oats Drive, north of the Rodanthe pier, around 2 a.m. Thursday. The 2-mile-long tracks entered an area closed to protect nesting sea turtles. The tracks showed that the drivers swerved multiple times, did donuts and jumping maneuvers.

Rangers said one set of tracks led to a cottage occupied by Daniel Hunt, 28, of Maryland, who confessed and identified Brian Tillet, 34, of Rodanthe, as the second driver.

Hunt was charged with operating an ORV in a seasonal ORV closure, being intoxicated in a national park, entering a resource protection area in a national seashore, disturbing wildlife, unsafe operation and giving false information. Rangers said they seized his ATV as evidence.

Tillet was charged with operating an ORV in a seasonal ORV closure, driving on a suspended license and unsafe operation.

Entering a resource closure is a federal crime that carries a maximum six-month jail sentence and a $5,000 fine.

Rangers said this was the fifth case of deliberate vandalism in a closed area of Cape Hatteras that they have investigated this year.

Anyone with information about vandalism in the seashore should call the Dare Community Crime Line at 252-473-3111.