published Monday, June 18th, 2012

Jasper cracking down on rowdies

JASPER, Tenn. -- After problems arose with a recent adult softball tournament at Jasper City Park, officials said they would not stand for any more misbehavior at the facility.

Jasper Parks and Recreation Director Chris Slatton said any tournament at the park has a "zero tolerance on misbehavior, alcohol use or anything like that."

Tournament attendees are told of the park rules before the events begin, officials said.

Slatton said he was walking through the complex with his daughter during the tournament when they encountered a player who was intoxicated and dropping trash on the ground.

After he told the man there was no drinking in the park and that he needed to pick up the trash, Slatton said the man "proceeded to say a couple of [foul] words."

"That's where I cut the line off," Slatton said.

Jasper Police Chief Tim Graham said he discussed the matter with Slatton and vowed to help end further misbehavior at tournaments.

"At the next ball tournament, I can assure you if there's any more of that going on, General Sessions Court will be busy Monday morning," he said.

Alderman Leon Rash said he has heard complaints from residents walking the track that surrounds the facility about adults drinking and using strong language.

"That's very inappropriate for our park," he said.

Jasper Mayor Billy Simpson drove by the park on the day of the tournament and called to have cars removed from areas marked with "No Parking" signs, he said.

"If I had known what was going on there that day, I would've had the field cleared," he said. "This is not going to happen in our park."

Slatton said such behavior "looks bad on us as a community, and we don't allow it. That's the main thing, and [Graham] is going to help us out on that."

Graham said officials have a plan to handle any similar situations.

"We won't be having this discussion again," he said.

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