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UPDATED: Accused Ski Apache vandals charged with felonies

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Two Ruidoso men accused of damaging a window of Ski Apache’s new gondola have been formally charged with criminal damage to property of more than $1,000, a fourth-degree felony, the Ruidoso News reported.

Dennis Short, 19, and John Nuckols, 20, were detained by Ski Apache security officers on Jan. 31 after workers noticed damage to a window on a gondola car the two had ridden to the top of the ski run, the News said.

Short was released on a $5,000 unsecured bond and is scheduled to make his first appearance Thursday in Carrizozo Magistrate Court, the paper reported.

Nuckols, who also was released on an unsecured bond, will appear Thursday on the criminal damage charge as well as charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, the News said.


6:40am 2/6/13 — Ruidosans Accused of Vandalizing Ski Apache’s New Gondola

By ABQnews Staff

Two Ruidoso men were detained last week for allegedly vandalizing one of the new gondola cars at Ski Apache, the Ruidoso News reported.

“They were carving pictures into the window,” Ski Apache general manager Justin Rowland told the News.

Dennis Short, 19, and John Nuckols, 20, were detained by Ski Apache security officers after the operator at the top of the gondola run observed two obscene images carved into the back window, authorities said.

The operator at the top of the lift detained Nuckols after observing damage to the window, and Nuckols reportedly denied any knowledge of the damage, but he was sent to the bottom of the lift where security officers were waiting, the News said.

Short already was skiing down the mountain but was detained by security officers at his vehicle.

Lincoln County Deputy Matt Christian said neither he nor the ski area security officers found any sharp objects on Short or Nuckols, and Christian found no such objects in a search of Short’s vehicle but did find a small amount of marijuana and a pipe in the glove box, according to the News.

Short and Nuckols were given lifetime criminal trespass warnings, and both agreed not to come back to the area, and season passes to Ski Apache were confiscated, the paper reported.

Charges for damage to the gondola car were pending.

Ski Apache’s new gondola began operating on Jan. 18, part of the ski area’s $15 million renovation, the News said. Each window in the $40,000 gondola cars could cost more than $1,000 to replace, ski area officials said.

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