Case dismissed against man who tried to take Masters sand


An Ohio man who was arrested during the final round of the Masters Tournament in what police say was a failed attempt to steal some bunker sand, had his case dismissed this morning.

Clayton Price Baker did not show up for Richmond County Magistrate Court, but his attorney, Roger Claridge, spoke on his behalf.

Police said the 40-year-old Baker slipped under the ropes after the end of the tournament and attempted to fill his cup with sand. After a short foot chase by Augusta National security and sheriff’s deputies, he was apprehended and charged with disorderly conduct.

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Gay said Baker, who was drinking heavily at time of the incident, did not get any sand.

Claridge said the incident had caused his client a great deal of embarrassment and money. In addition to losing his Masters badges, the meter was running on a private jet he had booked to fly him home while he sat in the Richmond County jail, Claridge said.

“Let me make sure I understand this, he rode a jet to Augusta to collect dirt?” asked Judge William D. Jennings III.

Claridge clarified that his client had come to see the Masters Tournament.

“So he came here to collect special dirt,” Jennings said. “Had he been successful in his attempt, what, pray tell, would he have done with it?”

Claridge explained that his client tries to collect dirt from ballparks and other sports venues he attends as sort of a hobby.

“It was going to be part of his collection.” said Claridge, adding that he hoped the court could dismiss the charges.

Solicitor Harry B. James said he didn’t object as long as Baker forfeited the $285 in bond that he posted to be released from jail.

“In my estimation of the amount of money this has cost him, the embarrassment, the fact he lost his badges to the Masters, the fact that he spent a considerable amount of time in jail, I believe that it is more than enough punishment in this matter,” James said.

Jennings granted the request with a parting admonition.

“You tell him I said, ‘Dictum sapienti sat est,’” the judge said, using a Latin phrase that translates, “a word to the wise is enough.”

“Tell him I also said good luck with his dirt,” Jennings said.