Cyclist gets citation for riding in national park

Oct. 12, 2013 at 5:12 a.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

I assumed riding a bicycle on the Aransas Refuge Park paved road would not be a crime. I rode through the opened gate, ignoring advice from a couple advising me of the park's closure. Immediately, a truck approached, and the driver gestured. The windows were up, and I could not hear him, but I assumed he was an official and wanted me to leave, so I immediately turned around and headed for the gate. The driver of the truck turned his flashing emergency lights on and accelerated to block me.

I stopped; the driver got out and informed me I was trespassing. He was armed and displayed an extremely authoritarian attitude. I said I would leave immediately. The officer said I could not leave until he gave me a citation. I asked him if it entailed a fine, and he said I would learn that after he had completed the citation.

The couple at the gate observing all this said they had informed me that the refuge was closed, and they would be glad to testify. It turns out they were employed by the refuge.

I will pay the $225 fine; after all, I am guilty of a federal offense.

Peter Bennett, Rockport



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