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“Mayor of Pickleball” Returned to Kitchen, Not Jail

News Frank Cerabino 05-16-2022

The so-called “Mayor of Pickleball” in Denver is no longer facing criminal charges.

Arslan Guney, a 71-year-old pickleball evangelist, had been facing felony criminal mischief for using a Sharpie pen to make small marks to outline the placement of temporary pickleball boundaries on a hardwood floor of a basketball and volleyball gym. 

“Mayor of Pickleball” Returned to Kitchen, Not Jail | Pickler Pickleball

The episode, which The Picker covered previously, was resolved on May 11th in a multi-faceted agreement that includes a letter of apology from Guney, the end of his criminal prosecution, and a partial repair payment to restore the gym floor.

For Guney, it will also end the ban on him being allowed to play pickleball on the city’s courts. Soon after the agreement was reached between the city and his pro bono, pickleball-playing lawyer, Hollynd Hoskins, Guney grabbed a paddle headed out to the courts to celebrate.

"Mayor of Pickleball" Returned to Kitchen, Not Jail | Pickler Pickleball

"Mayor of Pickleball" Returned to Kitchen, Not Jail | Pickler Pickleball

The estimated $4,672 cost that Guney has to pay – which amounts to half the expected cost to restore the gym floor – is being handled by a local floor contractor who has offered to remove the 45 markings Guney made on the floor, recoat the floor, and stripe six pickleball court lines on the gym floor free of charge. 

The city’s recreation department had used a surveillance video of Guney making the markings as part of its prosecution. 

 

The case, which became national news, has made Guney a kind of celebrity among the recreation-level players in his community. A GoFundMe page called “Help Mayor of Pickleball Settle the Goof-Up!” had already raised more than four thousand dollars. 

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