Drunk vandal on the golf course: 'Things got out of hand'

BREMERTON, Wash -- A joy ride in the snow landed a Kitsap County man behind bars on Sunday after deputies said he drove drunk on a Bremerton golf course then crashed his truck.

"I saw a truck going up the hill here but the snow was light," said Rich Kufahl who lives near the Kitsap Golf and Country Club.

Kufahl, who is also a member of the club and the Green-Chairman, knew the truck shouldn't be on the course and called 911.

"He was just 4-wheeling. He was just having fun in the snow," said Kufahl. "He went up and down the hill a few times which surprised me that he was able to drive just a truck up and down that. It's a pretty steep hill."

The fun ended after the driver slid into a ditch while trying to escape Sheriff's deputies. Kyle Punt, 23, was arrested at the scene for suspicion of drunken driving.

"It was just a bunch of nonsense," said Punt who was released from jail on Monday on his own personal recognizance. "Things got out of hand and I wasn't thinking straight."

Punt, who lives down the street from the golf course, said he went there on Sunday morning with a friend after leaving a bar.

"When I was up there I figured it was a good amount of snow. I wouldn't be really destroying the place. I just guess I wasn't really thinking too much. I was under the influence," said Punt.

According to Kufahl, Punt entered the golf course through an opening between bushes and a fence where a "No Trespassing" sign is posted but Punt said, at the time, he didn't think he was doing anything wrong. "I didn't see anything saying that it was a private location because during the snow everyone in this area is up there."

Golf course employees said Punt damaged four greens and five fairways. They estimate it will cost $20,000 to repair.

"It is going to be a lot of work," said Scott Mutchler who is the golf course superintendent. "It hurts because we work hard out here and we're short-staffed and (have a) low budget."

Punt, who was ordered to stay away from the course, said he's sorry for his actions.

"I do apologize for it and I would like to do as much as I can to help and repair all the damages that I've done," said Punt. "I enjoyed the time I was up there although there are many regrets that followed."

Punt was the only person arrested in connection with the case and would not comment on his friend's involvement.