“LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. —An Olympic bronze medal winner from Dearborn County admitted that he committed vandalism this summer.
The Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor’s Office said that Nick Goepper, 20, admitted that during an anxiety attack brought on by depression Aug. 8 he committed acts of vandalism at Hidden Valley Lake, throwing rocks that damaged several cars.
A deputy responding to a call about the rock throwing said he saw someone in black fleeing the scene and gave chase, but could not catch the person.
The total damage was estimated at more than $8,200.
Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said that authorities had not identified any suspects in the vandalism until Goepper and his family came forward in early October and admitted what he had done.
“The fact that he came forward speaks to the tremendous character of Nick Goepper and his family,” Negangard said in a news release. “We hope that Nick is able to put this behind him and continues to have great success.”
Negangard said Goepper apologized to the victims in person and made restitution. He said Goepper has been placed in a diversion program that will result in a dismissal of the criminal mischief charge if he avoids legal trouble for a year.
“He could have never come forward and we never would have known who would have done that,” Negangard said.
In a statement released by his attorney, Goepper said, “I apologize to my family, fans, sponsors and fellow athletes for my actions. Through this experience I have learned more about myself, including my responsibility as a role model athlete. I’m deeply appreciative of the support provided by those around me. I have had the opportunity to apologize to those affected by my actions in person, but please allow me this opportunity to apologize publicly to those affected by my actions. I assure you that what I did was completely out of character and will not happen again. Again, I am truly sorry for what I have done.”
One victim who didn’t want to be identified said that even though he was upset about the crime he remains a fan of Goepper’s.
“I still follow him,” he said.
Other supporters said Goepper is a good kid who just made a mistake.
“I think it says a lot about Nick that he was willing to deal with a moment where he wasn’t at his best,” said Chip Perfect, who owns Perfect North Slopes, Goepper’s home ski resort. “It’s unfortunate but we stand behind Nick. He’s a great ambassador for the sport and for Perfect North Slopes.”
Goepper is scheduled to host Winter Welcome Rail Jam, a fundraiser for The Cure Starts Now, at Perfect North Dec. 26.
Goepper won bronze in slopestyle at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.”
If you’re a former Olympic medalist that’s going to get arrested, I feel as if it’s your patriotic duty to at least get pinched for doing something cool. Take Phelps for example. Every time that guy’s in hot water, everyone and their brother knows that he’s been out partying. I’m not sitting here condoning drunk driving or anything, but when I see a guy like that making those kinds of mistakes, at least you can say the guy is out there enjoying himself outside the arena of competition. You can’t win gold medals unless you’re winning on AND off the field. Throwing rocks at cars in the middle of the night though? That’s some straight up “my dad doesn’t love me because I’m not good at sports and have emo posters all over my room” type shit. Hey Nick, next time life throws you a curve, just buy yourself an 8 ball and bottle of whiskey and fuck everything in sight. I’m no Dr. Phil or anything, but knocking down a couple of 9’s or 10’s seems like that might get you out of your funk. Doubt it would be too hard either, you know, seeing as you’re an Olympic athlete and what not.