Charges dropped against Masters patron who stole Augusta sand


A Georgia judge has dismissed charges against a Masters patron arrested during the tournament for trying to take sand from Augusta National as a souvenir.

Judge William Jennings III dismissed a charge of disorderly conduct against Clayton Baker of Ohio in Richmond County court on Thursday, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The 40-year-old Baker was not in court, but was represented by his attorney Roger Claridge. Claridge explained Baker's behavior, saying Baker wanted to attend the tournament and take home some sand for a collection he has of soil from stadiums and other sporting venues around the country. 

“Let me make sure I understand this,” Jennings said. “He rode a jet to Augusta to collect dirt?”

The effort came with a heavy cost. Baker had procured a private jet home from Augusta, the plane sitting on the tarmac while he was in jail. Not only was he on the hook for the cost of the plane, but also lost his Masters badge.

Country solicitor Harry James agreed to Claridge's request to dismiss the charge, forcing Baker to lose the $285 in bond Baker posted for his release.

“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,” James said, 'I believe that it is more than enough punishment in this matter.'