LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A man is under arrest after driving a car onto the infield at Churchill Downs and doing doughnuts Mon., March 31. He was supposed to be there building the Downs up for Derby, but instead, police said the worker tore up the infield in his Mustang.
Busy crews at Churchill downs are getting the venue ready for its biggest day of the year. Now, they’ve got extra cleanup to do. Police said 37-year-old Benjamin Bratcher took advantage of his access to the grounds as a construction worker.
“They were doing some work there at Churchill Downs. At some point, he decided to get in his Mustang and literally do donuts in the infield,” Alicia Smiley with the LMPD said.
A Churchill Downs employee saw Bratcher tearing up the grass and called police.
“What we’ve been told is that the damage to the infield is severe enough that it caused probably more than a thousand dollars worth of damage that is going to have to be repaired,” Smiley said.
The police report said that Bratcher admitted to driving in the infield, but didn’t believe he caused that much damage.
“It’s just the fact that he has torn up property that is going to be viewed by millions of people, out of towners, as well as people who live here. And again, you think that maybe it’s just grass, no, it actually belongs to someone. This is a company that has invested in their property and doing everything they can to keep it looking nice. Unfortunately, because of his actions, that has been tarnished,” Smiley explained.
Bratcher is charged with criminal mischief.