Teen arrested for allegedly vandalizing Haunted Castle at Santa Cruz

Posted Friday, July 23, 2010 12:07 PM | Contributed by Jeff

An unruly Stockton teenager allegedly vandalized the Haunted Castle, a ride that debuted at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in June, causing the new attraction to briefly close for repairs, officials said. Reports say he caused $5,000 in damage by grabbing a prop and dragging it through the ride.

Read more from The Mercury News.

Friday, July 23, 2010 12:20 PM

Do kids have nothing better to do these days? I hope they prosecute his parents for lost revenue as well...

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Friday, July 23, 2010 12:32 PM

What is it with teens these days? Fist we hear about teens stealing money from a little girls lemonaid stand, and now this.

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Friday, July 23, 2010 12:50 PM

"Teens today"? What...teens never did anything bad in the 2000s, 1990s, 1980s, 1970s, 1960s, 1950s...?

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Friday, July 23, 2010 2:40 PM

I love how every generation presumes that destructive and negative behaviour is somehow the exclusive domain of the current generation.

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Friday, July 23, 2010 2:52 PM

I guess it's hard for me to grasp, because I was not raised like that. I think the worst thing we ever did was TP someones yard.

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Friday, July 23, 2010 2:54 PM

I doubt anyone is raised like that.

Kids are kids. You point them in the right direction and hope they don't screw it up. Sometimes they do. You're lucky if they don't.

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Friday, July 23, 2010 3:04 PM

I dunno, the Indiana lady that left her kids may have raised them like that... ;)

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Friday, July 23, 2010 7:43 PM

This is why in many of the classic old school dark rides the props are usually behind chicken wire. Vandalism in dark rides is is nothing new but glad he got caught and busted.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010 9:42 AM

Make the kid do $5,000 work around the park at no pay at a rate of pay of Minnimum wage. Should take about a season. He'll never do it again!

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Saturday, July 24, 2010 10:43 PM

Lord Gonchar said: Kids are kids. You point them in the right direction and hope they don't screw it up. Sometimes they do. You're lucky if they don't.

Raising children to be good kids and adults isn't about luck. A good parent who is actively involved in their child's upbringing and sets boundaries usually raises a good kid. Sure there will be an exception from time to time, but the majority of the time it's not about luck.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010 12:24 AM

egieszl said:

Raising children to be good kids and adults isn't about luck. A good parent who is actively involved in their child's upbringing and sets boundaries usually raises a good kid. Sure there will be an exception from time to time, but the majority of the time it's not about luck.

Key word: Usually.

You can do all you want. A child is a human with independent thought who will make their own decisions no matter how much or how often you try to steer them the right way.

You're lucky if you're child doesn't cause you some sort of stupid grief along the way. It doesn't mean they're not a good kid or that you didn't raise a good kid or whatever. It means your kid was a kid and tried something they probably shouldn't have even though they should have known better.

This story qualifies as that sort of stupid grief.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Sunday, July 25, 2010 12:26 AM
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Sunday, July 25, 2010 2:59 AM

I think its sad that you're discounting a parent's ability to parent. The exceptions are the ones you may hear about in the news (like this story), but they're far from the majority.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010 10:22 AM

But it only took one kid (out of thousands who have been on this ride) to spawn coments like "all kids these days bad" and "their parents blew it raising them".

Although not knowing all the details in this case, from my own experience raising two kids to adulthood I'll say this: You can be best parent in the world. But, as soon as the kid gets out there with a bit of new found independence and a group of their "peers" they're trying to fit in with, sometimes the decision making process - that you've spent years trying to "install" correctly - completly breaks down and the kid screws up. That's when the real parenting happens - the kid has to be held responsible for his actions. And it's been that way forever. I think Bill Cosby called it "Brain Damage..."

I think this is also why parks like Cedar Point that gets bus loads of teenagers don't build dark rides. The collective teenage mind can be a scary thing.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010 11:05 AM

egieszl said:
I think its sad that you're discounting a parent's ability to parent. The exceptions are the ones you may hear about in the news (like this story), but they're far from the majority.

I think it's sad that you think you can absolutely control another human who will mindlessly follow everything you say, suggest or demand without ever once thinking they have a better way or know better.

It just doesn't work that way.

The degree that this kid went to may be the exception, but kids from good parenting still screw things up all the time.

Chaindog said:
Although not knowing all the details in this case, from my own experience raising two kids to adulthood I'll say this: You can be best parent in the world. But, as soon as the kid gets out there with a bit of new found independence and a group of their "peers" they're trying to fit in with, sometimes the decision making process - that you've spent years trying to "install" correctly - completly breaks down and the kid screws up. That's when the real parenting happens - the kid has to be held responsible for his actions. And it's been that way forever. I think Bill Cosby called it "Brain Damage..."

Exactly.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010 12:32 PM

I'm with Gonch here. It's just not as simple as good parenting, particularly since the environment acting on a child extends well beyond the home. My brother is a heroine addict living with my mom, I'm a reasonably successful career guy. We had the same parents.

In a more timely example, people in Northeast Ohio probably heard about the girl that went missing on Lake Erie and drowned. I knew that kid. She was one of my volleyball girls five years ago. Her father was one of the most over-bearing parents I've ever met, hell bent on keeping her on the straight and narrow. She died presumably because she made the poor decision of getting drunk on a boat and going for a swim. The parenting at that point didn't matter.

These aren't fringe cases... it's just what happens. People will be people and do stupid things.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010 1:09 PM

I did hear about that. It's quite tragic what happened. I feel for her family. What a terrible loss.

I've always felt that one of the most important jobs a parent can do is to not only protect a child from the world, but to prepare him for that time when he must inevitably be set loose in it. That's why our daughter, who is 8, is now allowed across and up and down the street to play. She can even go around the corner to the local playground in the company of other children. It's hard, and I get scared every time we let her out of our sight, but by gradually giving her more freedom as she demonstrates responsibility, we hope to accustom her to the world so that she'll have a foundation from which to make smart choices later.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010 1:19 PM

Gotta side with Gonch here. You teach em right and wrong, Try to lead by example but you can't Umbrella their lives. HOPEFULLY (LUCK) They don't make many unwise decisions.

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Monday, July 26, 2010 1:22 PM

Jeff said:
People will be people and do stupid things.

Even the smartest among us will occasionally do "stupid things". Sometimes its intentional, other times not. When it's intentional, and harmful to others (as in this case), there should be consequnces imposed...like Chuck's idea for about 800 hours of community service working at the park.

It is horribly unfortunate that even unintentional "stupid things" can sometimes bear the worst of consequences.

People who choose to raise kids, and really put forth the effort to teach their kids right and wrong, and lead by example, have my utmost respect. *Usually*, the "good parents" get good results. Sometimes not. And what constitutes good parenting seems to vary WIDELY...from place to place and generation to generation, there seems to be a lot of disagreement on what's really important that kids learn in terms of acceptable behavior.

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Monday, July 26, 2010 9:04 PM

They definitely did some quick clean up of the damage on this ride. I rode it Saturday afternoon and it looked to be in perfect condition.

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