Gilbert teen arrested after saguaro cactus damaged in Scottsdale park

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - A Gilbert teen has been arrested for allegedly cutting off the arm of a cactus in a Scottsdale park.

According to a Scottsdale police report, staff at Pinnacle Peak Park notified Scottsdale police that a saguaro cactus along the trail had been damaged by someone with a large knife.

Staff members told officers they had seen a young man with a large knife or machete hiking up the trail near the cactus that was damaged.

Other hikers arrived at the park office to report that a large arm of a saguaro cactus had been cut off.

Officers waited at the trailhead for the man with the edged weapon to come down.

When he did, officers learned he was a 16-year-old male from Gilbert. He was with two other adults.

Police say he had a large machete-type knife in his backpack and admitted to cutting off the arm of the cactus.

The teen was arrested and booked into Scottsdale City Jail. He was released to his father a short time later.

The teen will be charged felony criminal damage, according to police.

The saguaro cactus that was damaged is estimated to be about 150 years old. The damage is estimated at $5,000 – if the cactus survives. If it does not, the loss could be valued at well over $10,000.

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