The U.S. National Whitewater Center’s safety director is facing criminal charges for allegedly removing a barrier that residents installed to curb traffic on a nearby private road, months after neighbors filed a report with police.
According to court documents obtained by Channel 9, Michael Kafsky, the facility’s safety director, is charged with second-degree trespass, misdemeanor conspiracy, and injury to personal property.
It stems from an allegation by neighbors who claim Kafsky removed a barrier they installed on Hawfield Road to keep Whitewater Center staff and visitors off the private road.
9 Investigates reported on the issue earlier this year as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department cited serious concerns stemming from large scale events at the Whitewater Center, including “several serious and fatality crashes” on surrounding roads.
Neighbors told 9 Investigates’ Allison Latos that they’ve been battling the Whitewater Center for years. Several neighbors went to court over the use of the private road for Whitewater Center events, and both sides settled with an agreement for the center to install a metal barricade. When no barrier was built, residents took measures into their own hands. Ed Hamer, who has lived on Hawfield Road for decades, told Channel 9 they set up stones with a tractor between their property and the center.
“They were removed by staff of the Whitewater Center, maliciously,” Hamer said. The neighbors then filed a police report in March.
We’ve reached out to Kafsky and the Whitewater Center for comment, but we’ve received no response.
Kafsky will appear in court for the charges on Aug. 3.
(WATCH BELOW: Safety concerns surrounding crowds, traffic at U.S. National Whitewater Center)