20-year-old Nick Goepper placed third in Slopestyle skiing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. (File)
HIDDEN VALLEY LAKE, IN (FOX19) – -
Olympic bronze medalist and Lawrenceburg native Nick Goepper was charged on Thursday with vandalizing multiple vehicles in Dearborn County.
Goepper caused more than $8,000 in damages on Aug. 8 when he threw rocks at passing vehicles on Alpine Drive in Hidden Valley, Ind., court documents state.
“Nick Goepper suffered an anxiety attack due to depression and committed several acts of vandalism on citizens of Hidden Valley Lake,” Prosecuting Attorney Aaron Negangard said in a release.
The Dearborn County Sheriff's department claimed they had no suspects in the investigation until Goepper and his family came forward nearly one month after the crimes. The 20-year-old reportedly acted alone in the incident.
Dearborn County Officer Jack Stevens, who responded to the Aug. 8 complaint, witnessed a man dressed in black take off into the woods of Alpine Drive, according to official documents.
Officer Stevens chased after the man, later identified to be Goepper, but never caught up. When returning to the scene, Stevens spotted a pile of rocks along the roadway, according to an affidavit.
The affidavit lists eight victims whose vehicles were damaged by thrown rocks on Alpine Drive.
Goepper personally apologized to the victims and paid all restitution for damage, the prosecutor states. Since he accepted responsibility, a diversion agreement will dismiss the criminal mischief charge after one year if Goepper keeps a clean record.
One of those cars belongs to William Dillaha who told FOX19 NOW that Goepper stepped up to the plate.
“He Apologized, went through all of the situation from his high as this esteemed Olympic Olympian and medal winner and I guess somewhat of the slight calm that ensues behind that and I guess there's a thing almost like PTSD with athletes that ensued and he didn't handle it the right way being a 19 year-old young man that he direly regretted and totally out of character for him," said Dillaha.
Snowboarder Ellis Lavey says even famous people need to take responsibility for their actions.
“No acts are excusable no matter who you are. If you're going to take the blame and be reckless and not use your status as an out for that,” said Lavey.
The slopestyle skier took home a bronze medal in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and also came in first at the Winter X-Games.