Somerset County News

Suspect Charged with Criminal Mischief at Trump National Golf Course in Somerset County

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SOMERVILLE, N.J. – A resident of Hawaii has been charged with criminal mischief in connection with the alleged vandalism of 9 putting greens at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster where President Trump has spent considerable time since taking office in January.

Clifford Tillotson, age 61, of Aumoana Place, Kaneohe, Hawaii, has also been charged with defacing greens at three other Trump properties in New York.

Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson announced the arrest Friday evening.

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Bedminster police received a call from the director of security at Trump National Golf Club early in the morning of Sept. 12 to report the damage. He told police the damage occurred sometime between the evening hours of Sept. 11 and the following morning, according to Robertson.

Defamatory, negative comments critical of the Trump administration were written on the greens with a caustic substance, causing the grass to turn brown and other colors. The estimated damage to the golf course was in excess of $10,000.

Detectives made the connection with the New York incidents soon after, according to Robertson, and working in conjunction with New York authorities identified Tillotson as the individual who is accused of being responsible for the damages at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey. 

Tillotson faces charges of third degree criminal mischief and is awaiting extradition to New Jersey; charges are pending against him in Westchester County, NY for damages a the three Trump courses in Westchester, Ferry Point and Hudson Valley.

"We take all acts of vandalism very seriously and would like to thank local  law enforcement officials for their efforts," the Trump Organization said in a statement following Tillotson's arrest in New York. "The individual responsible is in custody and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

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