Appeals court reinstates Townsend tubers trespassing fine

An appeals court has reinstated the trespassing fine against a Hamblen County man who was tubing on the Little River in 2012.

Authorities said Anthony Damico was tubing with friends when they missed the designated takeout point where they could have ridden a van back to their cars.

Instead, they continued down the river until they reached the Wear's Dam, which they were afraid to cross on the water. They climbed out of the river onto property owned by Ye Olde Mill Campground. The owner confronted them and told they were trespassing. He said they would have to pay a fee to access the property or get back in the river.

Previous: Townsend rule on trespassing tubers now being questioned

Damico refused and the confrontation became heated. He and his friends eventually crossed the campground to the road, followed it for a while, and got back into the river.

The property owner called police, who tracked Damico down on the river. When Damico admitted he had crossed the campground, he was issued the citation.

He appealed, and a local judge overturned the citation. But now, an appeals court has reinstated the fine, saying that if Damico would have just reentered the river just beyond the dam, instead of crossing the property to the road.

There's been a long dispute in Townsend between tubers and private property owners along the Little River.


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