DOUGLAS COUNTY – A couple visiting a memorial for Columbine victims inside a state park were ticketed by a state park ranger.
Rhonda Haggerty's cousin, Kyle Velasquez, was killed during the attack at Columbine in 1999. Rhonda and her husband Mike have been visiting a memorial inside Roxborough State Park in the years following the tragedy. An artist built 13 crosses on private land inside the park.
Three weeks ago, the couple visited the memorial. They say an access road to the site was blocked off, so they parked on the side of the road and hiked to the crosses.
"When we got back to our car, the ranger was waiting for us," Mike Haggerty said. "He was asking us what we were doing up here, and we told him we came up to see the crosses."
The couple says the ranger called for another ranger. In the end, they wrote the couple a $50 ticket, claiming they weren't where they were supposed to be.
Rhonda and Mike say they tried to explain who they were, but the rangers still wrote the ticket.
"When this couple did come out to visit this area where the crosses are, they did walk across the grassland," park spokesperson Jennifer Churchill said. "So they were issued a ticket for unlawful entry."
Churchill says the park is looking into the ticket.
"We didn't really want to be ticketing folks who [might have] misunderstood how to get to this area," Churchill said.
Churchill would not say whether the park would reimburse the couple for the ticket.
"We're discussing the options actually at this point," she said.
For legal access to the memorial, there is an access road that is off Roxborough Road in the park. If you plan to visit the memorial, Colorado Parks & Wildlife asks that you call them to let them know.
Roxborough office (closest to the park): 303-973-3959
(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)