UPDATE: Dyersville Police charge 20-year-old in Field of Dreams - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Dyersville Police charge 20-year-old in Field of Dreams vandalism case

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Dyersville Police have charged a local man after they allege he vandalized the Field of Dreams Movie Site.

Police say they've charged 20-year-old Austin Pape of Dyersville with second-degree criminal mischief and reckless driving.

Pape turned himself into the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office this morning and appeared in court shortly after.



Days after someone goes for a reckless drive through the Field of Dreams Movie Site, it's still a mess. It's wet, muddy and damaged. 

Al Steffen, the field manager, has taken care of the iconic field for 30 years. "They drove we think, a four-wheel drive truck, started right behind home plate, went over the pitchers mound, went over second base, drove out into center field, turned into left field," he said.

The vandal also did donuts causing deep ruts throughout the field.

The damage will cost thousands. Although the buildings are covered by insurance, the field isn't.

"There's no vandalism policy on the field, so all this will be on Denise (Stillman) so she started a GoFundMe page, to help pay for the cost of the sprinkler system and the field, and she wants to use a lot of the money for putting in a surveillance security system."

In just two days, they have reached the fundraising goal of $15,000.

However, it'll be a while before most of the repairs can begin. "Oh, no this won't dry out until spring. This will stay pretty wet right through -- you get the frost out so the water can go down," added Steffen.

Police are investigating the vandalism and said they have a person of interest. They're also looking at soil samples hoping to match tire tracks to catch the vandal. 


The investigation into the damage that occurred at the Field of Dreams is continuing Thursday. 

Investigators have been speaking with a person of interest and other witnesses, and expect to have more information on the case early next week. 


Update: The Field of Dreams is a far cry from its silver screen glory, thanks to someone driving through the wet field, tearing it up, Monday night.

It's a slap in the face for long-time facilities manager, Al Steffen.

"I am a baseball fan."

For decades, Steffen has been taking meticulous care of Iowa's iconic landmark.

"I just love the idea of, and the story behind this field. I've always loved it and I will continue to until the last," said Steffen.

Monday night, someone disrespected, not only Steffen, but every Iowan who has ever been inspired or touched by the Field of Dreams. 

A vandal left a path of destruction as they plowed through the pitcher's mound, slid through third base, did a donut in the outfield, and rounded second before they struck out and headed home.

The weather made it easy for the driver to cause significant damage to the field. After a heavy rain and warm temperatures Sunday into Monday, temperatures dropped Monday night.

The drop in temperature froze the deep ruts in place and made it hard to assess the damage beyond aesthetics of the field.

It's likely many of the 60 sprinkler heads in the outfield were broken and possibly the main line of the system.

"It is hard to believe people would do that. It is the way the world is anymore; it is unexpected," said Steffen.

People travel from thousands of miles away to stand on the Field of Dreams' pitcher's mound, but unfortunately, it won't be picture perfect for quite some time.

Steffen will have to wait for the ground to fully thaw before the damage can be fixed.

"It is for the public; it is open to the public so they can enjoy themselves and now we have all this work this spring to tear it all up, seed it all back down. It is a lot of work, but I will go at it and we will get-r-done," said Steffen.

Steffen says this isn't the first time the field has been vandalized in the 30-year history, but it is by far the worst

The damage is estimated to be in the thousands and, unfortunately, only the buildings on the property are covered by insurance.

That means the Iowa attraction, which is free to the public, will have to pay out-of-pocket for the repairs.     

The owner of the Field of Dreams, Denise Stillman, has started a GoFundMe to help pay for the repairs.  Stillman says she has filed a police report and is looking into putting security cameras on the property. 


An iconic baseball field in eastern Iowa has been damaged by apparent vandals.

The owner of the Field of Dreams Movie Site, located in Dyersville said someone drove on the infield and outfield creating deep ruts causing season long damage to the grass. 

It happened between Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

The reckless driving on the field possibly also damaged the new irrigation system. 

The owner said they don't know who is responsible, but have filed a police report. 

KWWL's Shirley Descorbeth contributed to this report.

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