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Arrest Made In Golden Gate Park Tree Vandalism

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A 65-year-old man was arrested Wednesday in connection with vandalism of trees in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, police said Thursday.

Ken Frisch, a San Francisco resident, was arrested around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday after officers witnessed him damaging trees in the park, police spokeswoman Officer Tracy Turner said.

Frisch was cited for malicious destruction of property, removal of a tree, wood or flowers from the park, feeding squirrels and a raccoon, and unauthorized performance of labor for apparently altering a park path, Turner said.

News of the man's arrest came from the Police Department's Richmond Station, which said in a weekly newsletter that police had "been searching for him for some time."

San Francisco Recreation and Park spokesman Elton Pon said Frisch had allegedly been harassing city gardeners for some time, but said that the department does not believe he is the same suspect responsible for other vandalism that has damaged more than 200 trees in the park since last September.

The vandal or vandals in those cases have targeted young trees in sections of the park marked as undergoing reforestation. The damage has cost the city upwards of $50,000, park officials said.

Rec and Park director of operations Denny Kern said in a statement, "Our Park Patrol unit works closely with police throughout the year, and we are grateful for the fine job the police have done to ensure the public's safety in the park."

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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