VIRGINIA

Church in dispute over errant driving range balls

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(AP, ABC7) - A dispute between a Fairfax church and its driving range neighbor could be heading to court.

A church is suing a golf course for errant balls that repeatedly fell on its property. (Photo: Flickr/chispita_666)

Officials at Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church say they counted more than 2,600 golf balls that fell on their property during a recent year-long period when they tracked the errant drives.

Members of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Alexandria say golf balls have hit a youth director on the head, crashed through a church office window and smashed the rear window of the pastor's car.

Top Golf, the church's neighbor off of Van Dorn Street, installed warning signs. The upper deck of the range is closed during church services and there's protective netting.

"When there's been a broken window we have fixed it...we continue to be good neighbors,” said Willie Wilson, manager of Top Golf.

Church members filed a complaint to the Fairfax County Circuit Court about a continuing public nuisance claiming "massive, intolerable, dangerous and life-threatening golf balls" come on its property.

The church says it also held off building a playground.

"Bottom line all the balls are microchipped... if you do damage, pay for it, it's in the paperwork when you sign up,” said golfer Tom Worosez.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that a special grand jury that convened in October found reason to pursue a misdemeanor charge after a complaint was filed over a continuing public nuisance. That could result in a January jury trial and possibly a $25,000 fine.

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