Off-road driver arrested on numerous charges at Stafford County’s under-construction Civil War park.

BY JONAS BEALS

An off-road joy ride yesterday morning led to a Stafford County man’s trip to jail in the back of a Sheriff’s Office squad car.

Deputies went to the county’s under-construction Civil War park off Brooke Road near the Rappahannock Regional Landfill after receiving a call from a nearby resident.

There, county authorities found a mud-covered Jeep overturned next to a large dirt mound.

A man deputies found there at first told authorities he was not the driver of the Jeep and insisted that the driver had fled the scene, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bill Kennedy.

But Kennedy said the man, who was not injured, later acknowledged that he had been the driver.

Police charged Ryan Eilenfield, 24, of Stafford with trespassing, driving under the influence and obstruction of justice.

Friends of Stafford County Civil War Sites Director Glenn Trimmer is overseeing the construction of the park.

He is happy with the progress so far, but said that the activity–and the large dirt piles–have attracted off-road vehicles and all-terrain vehicles.

He said that it is important for people to obey the posted signs at the park and refrain from trespassing on the construction site.

Trimmer also said that relic hunters are not allowed on the property.

He said the situation will improve once the park is opened and visitors come to see what is a very rare and well-preserved example of Union fortifications.

“The people who care about the history of the site” will act as the best deterrent to unwanted behavior, Trimmer said.

Phase one of the construction project was recently completed, with the National Guard having rough-graded three roads and installed a creek crossing last month. The National Guard is scheduled to complete its portion of the project in June 2012, with the park opening the following fall.

When it is complete, the park will be opened to the public. Until then, it is off limits.

“That’s park property,” Kennedy said. “There’s no trespassing allowed. There’s no four-wheeling allowed, either.”

Jonas Beals: 540/368-5036
Email: jbeals@freelancestar.com

 

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