Teen Councilman Destroys Crops During Binge: Cops

Alburtis Borough councilman who isn't old enough to drink is accused of destroying soybean field with car then leaving the vehicle & beer bottles behind

An alleged alcohol-fueled joyride through a soybean field and theft of campaign signs from lawns has the youngest politician in Lehigh County in trouble with the law for the second time in his brief political career.

The allegations could soon end the short political career of Alburtis Borough councilman Kyle Bower, 19.

"It's definitely an embarrassment for the borough now," said Alburtis Council president Steve Hill.

Police say Bower stole some Republican campaign signs from the front of a home on Oct. 4, then drove his car through a soybean field and left it there with two bottles of beer, and the signs, inside after the car apparently got stuck.

About $600 worth of damage, including visible tire marks, was done to the about an acre of soybean field, police said.

He faces a felony charge of agricultural crop destruction, which carries a maximum 10-year sentence, as well as various lesser charges such as criminal mischief, underage drinking and agricultural vandalism, according to court records.

Bower was being held on $5,000 bail at Lehigh County jail.

He was already on probation. Back in January 2012, Bower took his seat on the council. Earlier that same day, he was sentenced to four years of probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanors for throwing a brick through his ex-girlfriend's window and slipping out of handcuffs during an alcohol-related arrest.

Fellow council members originally supported Bower’s place on the borough council as a step in the right direction as he worked to overcome past alcohol issues. Hill says that Bower brought good ideas to meetings and appeared to be headed in the right direction.

But after his latest run-ins with the law, Hill tells NBC10 that Bower could be asked to submit his letter of resignation. Bower reportedly told the council he won't quit so the borough will hold a public hearing later this month on the matter.

No one answered the door Wednesday at Bower's home.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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