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Break-In at Trump’s Golf Course, and Taylor Swift’s Mansion

In the early evening hours of Sept. 3, an employee at President Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, N.J., heard music blasting across a fairway. He turned and saw a Ford Focus whipping in circles on the 11th hole.

Five days later, the Ford was back on the manicured grass, this time turning doughnuts on the 13th hole.

On Tuesday, the police arrested Richard J. McEwan, 26, of Milford, N.J., and charged him with criminal mischief in connection with the two episodes at Trump National Golf Course, Mr. Trump’s luxury course about 40 miles west of Manhattan.

The car had churned up the turf, resulting in about $20,000 worth of damage, the Somerset County prosecutor’s office said.

“He will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Kimberly Benza, a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization, said in an email.

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CreditSomerset County Prosecutor’s Office

But whipping around the Somerset County links was not the only spree for which Mr. McEwan was charged in the past few weeks.

On Aug. 30, the police in Westerly, R.I., said, he broke into a mansion belonging to the musician Taylor Swift in the village of Watch Hill. Mr. McEwan was arrested after a neighbor noticed him hopping the fence, breaking a glass door and sneaking in, according to Chief Shawn Lacey of the Westerly Police Department.

Police officers found Mr. McEwan in a foyer inside Ms. Swift’s house, Chief Lacey said. He had taken off his shoes and left them outside the mansion.

“There was a set of shoes on the floor, and he was found without shoes on, just a pair of socks on,” Chief Lacey said Tuesday in an interview. “Obviously we asked, ‘Why are your shoes off?’ And he indicated, ‘I was raised to take my shoes off when you go into somebody’s house,’” Chief Lacey said.

“He said it was the polite thing to do. Meanwhile, there is glass all over the floor from a broken door.”

Chief Lacey said Mr. McEwan told the police he had quit his job working with computers in May, fearful he was being watched by the government.

“I feel really bad for the kid,” Chief Lacey said. “I hope the guy gets the help he needs.”

Mr. McEwan was charged in Rhode Island with willful trespassing and breaking and entering and released on a $5,000 bond on Sept. 3 — the same day New Jersey prosecutors said he first drove on Mr. Trump’s course in Bedminster. He is due in court in Rhode Island on Nov. 29. His New Jersey court date had not yet been set.

Mr. McEwan could not be reached for comment.

Ms. Swift purchased the 11,000-square-foot mansion in 2013 for $17.75 million, according to property records. There have been numerous incidents at the house since she moved in, the police chief said, but the break-in Mr. McEwan is charged with was the first time he recalled that someone had managed to get inside.

Mr. Trump’s golf course and other properties have also been routinely targeted, particularly since he became president. In 2017, the police charged a man with third-degree criminal mischief after anti-Trump messages were scrawled across the grass at Trump National in Bedminster.


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