Goliad historic site sees late-night partying
Aug. 4, 2012 at 3:04 a.m.
Updated Aug. 5, 2012 at 3:05 a.m.
about Presidio La Bahia
• Founded in 1749
• Site of the Goliad Massacre during the Texas Revolution
• It is a national historic landmark
• About 33,000 people visit the fort each year
Since it was built in 1749, Presido La Bahia in Goliad has seen war, death, marriages, births and - most recently - late-night partying.
Newton Warzecha, director of La Bahia, said people have been climbing the 10-foot walls to drink and party, leaving trash behind and scaring guests.
"Any sensible person should know, when you see a wall that high and that thick that we don't want you inside," Warzecha said.
The problem is so out of hand, officials are forced to install security cameras to protect the historic site's main source of revenue, Warzecha said.
Visitors can pay to stay overnight in the guest quarters, but the late-night trespassers are frightening some of those guests.
Goliad County Sheriff Kirby Brumby said two men in their 40s are facing criminal trespassing charges. If convicted, they could be fined up to $2,000 and sentenced to six months in jail.
Warzecha said three other groups are suspected, but have not been charged.
Pete Perkins, a donor to the site, thinks violators should be punished to the full extent of the law.
"It is a historical place, a very special place in Texas," Perkins said. "You wouldn't have people breaking into the Alamo and throw their trash around, partying. It is the same thing."