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Minnesota teens facing felony charges in alleged vandalism

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HUDSON, Wis. -- Two Minnesota teens face felony charges for their alleged involvement in a March rampage that amassed nearly $20,000 in damages at Hudson’s abandoned dog track.

St. Croix County prosecutors charged Zackary J. Beyers, 18, and Tyler N. Hopwood, 17, with burglary and criminal property damage. Both counts are felony-level charges.

The teens -- both from Woodbury -- make their initial appearances on the charges on Thursday, May 12.

According to a criminal complaint, Hudson police responded March 29 to the St. Croix Meadows Dog Track, where a security guard reported that trespassers were on the grounds. Police chased three suspects on foot, before they were seen getting away in a vehicle.

Police stopped the vehicle, which contained three male teens, including Beyers and Hopwood.

Beyers said Hopwood and two other people went there at about 9:30 p.m. the day prior and went on a destructive spree for about two hours.

Beyers provided police with a list of activity at the dog track, which included:

  •  Throwing TVs and computers
  •  Spraying at least five fire extinguishers
  •  Throwing boxes and film tape off the upper balcony
  •  Throwing wooden planks at walls and off the balcony
  •  Breaking glass doors and windows
  •  Tipping over a refrigerator and pouring out condiments inside it
  •  Smashing dishware

The group left the track, but returned at about 2:30 a.m. March 29 “and did some more damage,” the complaint states.

Beyers turned over a video taken on his phone that documented some of the damage done at the facility.

Hopwood told police he saw four other people trespassing at the track on March 28. He admitted to smashing 2x4s into the ground and damaging an elevator alarm.

“We came to the St. Croix Meadows Dog Track because it was abandoned and to hang with friends,” according to Hopwood’s statement.

Hudson police said a damage was estimated at $19,857.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

(715) 426-1072
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