It’s nothing new for golfers to become angry at a poor shot or missed opportunity, but when electric golf cars are under the control of golfers with raging tempers, the situation can escalate to dangerous levels. Recently, one man was charged with second-degree assault for running down another golfer in his golf cart in Denver, Colorado.
Recently, one man was charged with second-degree assault for running down another golfer in his golf cart in Denver, Colorado.
In late August, a man by the name of Richard Ponds was with a group playing a round of golf at Wellshire Golf Course in Denver. According to the arrest warrant, the group had just finished playing the 18th hole, but for some reason, Ponds was not ready to end his game. He parked his golf cart in the middle of the course, but the next group was close behind and eagerly hoping to play out the final hole.
Thomas Rudy was one of the members of the next group that wanted to play the last hole, but after waiting several minutes at a distance of 60 yards, he decided that something had to be done. Rudy asked Ponds to move his electric golf car while walking in his direction, but Ponds replied by angrily shouting a string of curses, which led to what witnesses called “a heated exchange.”
Soon after the exchange, Ponds began driving the golf cart in the direction of Rudy, who he perceived to be his adversary, and some witnesses claim that he accelerated the vehicle to its maximum speed as fast as he could. Rudy stood his ground at first, and it was not until the electric golf car was about two feet away did he realize that Ponds was out of his mind and was not going to stop. Rudy tried to jump out of the way but failed, and Ponds steered the cart right into him, heartlessly running the man down.
After Ponds struck Rudy with the golf cart, he then continued driving it all the way to the parking lot where he parked it near his car, changed vehicles and fled the scene. Witnesses, however, were able to record the license plate on the car, and they called the police.
When police arrived at the scene, they were able to take statements from witnesses, but Rudy had already been picked up by an ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated for a laceration on the left side of his forehead. He had also been bruised and cut on the left side of his abdomen near his ribs.
Later, the police and reporters met up with Rudy, and he gave his version of the event. “As soon as he got a foot or two away, I realized he wasn’t going to stop. He was going to run me over,” said Rudy. “There was just no call for this in any manner. We just don’t know why he wouldn’t move his golf cart away from the green.”
At the same time, the police were tracking down Ponds via his license-plate number, and after he was found, his identity was verified by several others, including his son and his golfing partner, who said he had known him for 16 or 17 years.
“I’ve never heard of anyone getting run over. Tempers were apparently running pretty high. I think it’s crazy,” said a golfer who was there that day. “This course is packed a little tight together, so you’ve got to just, you know, watch out for extra golf balls. It’s not out of control to think that a ball might hit you. No reason to run someone over, though.”