After a video camera caught a Chevy truck rolling into Atascadero’s Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial on New Year’s Day—causing about $15,000 in damage to marble benches and light fixtures—police quickly launched a search for the culprit. The original announcement provided a detailed description of the vehicle, later refined to describe a 1988-1997 maroon Chevrolet Crew Cab pickup truck sporting a metal, diamond-plated toolbox and some type of rack, with chrome body trim.
The search didn’t last long. Atascadero police reported that resident Sean David Cronin, 49, walked into the station around 11 p.m. on Jan. 2 and turned himself in, roughly 37 hours after the incident.
According to Sgt. Jason Carr, Cronin told investigators that the damage was accidental, after his foot mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes while parking in the lot next to the memorial. Cronin was arrested upon arrival for violation of probation, and is currently being held at the County Jail on suspicion of driving with a suspended license and hit-and-run. It’s not suspected that drugs or alcohol played a role in the incident, though they haven’t been ruled out, Carr said.
-- Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay