Police Arrest 71-Year-Old Man for Coloring on a Denver Basketball Court
Authorities have arrested a 71-year-old Denver man for coloring on a Central Park Rec Center basketball court with a permanent marker.
According to FOX31, the incident occurred on March 14, when Arslan Guney began drawing boundaries on the court to create a makeshift pickleball court. Guney received the marker from staff, who later saw him coloring on the court through security cameras.
The station reports that rec center employees later attempted to clean the marker with a solvent, which removed the finish on the court. The rec center alleges that it will take around $10,000 to strip and refinish the court. They're accusing Guney of criminal mischief — a felony that could result in up to three years of jail time.
According to Denverite, Guney, known by friends as the "Mayor of Pickleball," previously saw staff marking the court similarly, causing him to think it was allowed. Before the incident, he had asked the Denver Parks and Recreation Department to consider adding pickleball markings to rec center courts.
USA Pickleball defines the game as "a fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. [It is] played both indoors and outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net."
Guney's lawyer, Hollynd Hoskins, told Denverite that the rec center has suspended him from all Denver rec centers until further notice — a move that has left him "shocked and saddened."
Authorities have not revealed the next steps in Guney's case. No further information is available at this time.