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Pickleball guru charged with felony for redoing public ball court strip

It’s quite the dill-emma.

A Denver man dubbed the “pickleball mayor” tried to create his own pitch — and now he’s probably headed for one.

Arslan Guney, 71, and other pickleball enthusiasts play basketball on a basketball court at Denver’s Central Park Recreation Center. The pickleball court markings had faded so much that Guney this month drew new lines with a Sharpie, according to a report.

He was slapped with a warrant for his arrest three days later and now faces criminal mischief charges, the report said, with the city seeking $10,000 in damages.

“The entire pickleball community is truly saddened and shocked,” Jan Devor, a friend of the accused felon and fellow pickleball player, told Denver 7 News.

Pickleball is described as a mix of tennis, racquetball and ping-pong. The pickleball community rallied in support of Guney, citing his kindness and patience in teaching others the game.

“He’s what we call the mayor of pickleball,” Devor said. “I have 40 letters that were given to me that I submit to the lawyer which attest to his kindness and generosity. He wrote a letter to Denver Parks and Recreation apologizing.

Guney hired a lawyer, fellow pickleball player Hollynd Hoskins, to fight the town hall.

Pickleball is described as a mix of tennis, racquetball and ping-pong.
Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Denver officials are standing by the charges.

“It is our duty and responsibility to the citizens of Denver to protect city assets and public property,” the Department of Parks and Recreation said in a statement. “Defacing or damaging public property is unacceptable, a criminal offense and will not be tolerated in any of our buildings or public spaces. Law enforcement is aware of the damage and the incident is being investigated. Pickleball play has been temporarily suspended to assess damages and related repairs.