Bar golf carts from roads, jogger says Country club said he was trespassing

March 12, 1997|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

Golfers at the Crofton Country Club have been trundling in carts across public roads to reach the greens and fairways for more than two decades.

Now a longtime Crofton resident -- forbidden from jogging at the private club -- has asked an Anne Arundel circuit judge to order the Crofton police to crack down on cart traffic or get an exemption from the state law prohibiting unregistered motor vehicles on public roads.

Charlie Wolfe said that if he is forbidden to jog at the private club, the golfers should not be allowed to cross public roads in club carts.

"If they are going to enforce the trespassing law, enforce all the laws; that's the bottom line," said Wolfe, a retired federal prison administrator who has lived in Crofton for 25 years.

He was kicked off club property two years ago by Crofton Police Chief Deborah Bogush, and club management ordered him off two months ago, Wolfe said.

Despite the warnings against trespassing, Wolfe said, he still jogs or walks five miles a day on club property.

He filed the court case targeting the local Police Department and the club's carts, beer wagon and maintenance vehicles after the more recent warning.

"If they just leave me alone, I'll leave them alone," he said yesterday.

Neither Bogush nor Town Manager Barbara K. Swann would comment on the case. Frederick C. Sussman, the lawyer representing the Crofton Civic Association, did not return a phone call to his office yesterday, and Tim Gordon, the club's general manager, was not available for comment.

The Crofton Civic Association, which oversees Crofton's six-person police force, has until today to file a response to Wolfe's charges.

Edwin F. Dosek, president of the association's board, said the carts pose no threat to traffic on public roads.

"They've been crossing the roadways [in Crofton] for I guess 30 years," said Dosek, a golfer and member of the country club.

"Everybody who rides on a golf cart recognizes that the motor vehicles have the right of way."

Wolfe's attorney and next-door neighbor, Robert Slaby, said it was only a matter of time before a car slammed into a cart at one of the four crossings between fairways.

"It is a big deal because somebody is going to get killed up there," said Slaby, who is also a golfer.

The club should construct bridges or tunnels for the carts at the four points where golfers cross county roads, he said, or golfers should stop the carts at the crossings, walk across the streets and get into carts waiting on the other side.

Slaby and Wolfe said the Crofton police have decided not to apply the law on unregistered vehicles to golf carts.

Many communities with golf courses winding through them allow carts to cross public roads, Dosek said.

"There's been no enforcement because [neither] the county nor the state enforce that kind of restriction any place in Maryland," he said.

County police have deferred to Crofton police on the matter, said Western District Capt. Timothy Bowman.

Pub Date: 3/12/97

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