ROGERSVILLE — Driving without a valid license should be cause to keep a low profile and avoid drawing attention to yourself with activities such as destroying elf and Christmas stocking light displays at a public park.
Police said Darrion Tyler McCann, 18, 145 Christiana Drive, Rogersville, has a revoked driver’s license.
On the night of Dec. 4, McCann received a ride to his job at TRW Automotive in Rogersville from a friend, Kealyan Lawson, whose driver’s license is suspended.
On the way to drop off McCann for an 11 p.m. shift, they decided to take a detour through the Rogersville City Park, which is decorated with elaborate Christmas light displays.
Lawson later told police that McCann exited the vehicle to take a closer look at the displays, and then suddenly began attacking them.
A witness contacted Rogersville police around 10:45 p.m. about the Christmas display vandalism, and provided police with a vehicle description and tag number.
RPD Assistant Chief James Hammonds located the vehicle westbound on Highway 11-W near the Rt. 66 intersection and conducted a traffic stop.
“When I stopped the car, I talked to the driver about what went on at the park and he said, ‘Talk to him’ (the passenger McCann),” Hammonds told the Times-News Monday. “I asked the passenger and he said, ‘I don’t know why I done it. I jumped out and was looking at it, and the next thing I knew I had hold of it, dragging it down.’ ”
Hammonds added, “He didn’t have a good explanation for why he done it. He just said he was staring at it, and then all of a sudden just ‘went off’ and started attacking it.”
Lawson took no part in the vandalism, and was surprised by McCann’s actions, Hammonds said.
On Monday McCann pleaded guilty to one count of vandalism before Hawkins County Sessions Judge J. Todd Ross in exchange for 11 months and 29 days of supervised probation and restitution to be determined later.
The value of the Christmas stocking and elf displays was estimated in excess of $3,000.
Hammonds said park crews were able to repair the bent displays for about $125, however.