Judge orders backyard rink makers to pay water bill, community service

Puck Daddy

Desperate times called for desperate measures.

When 21-year-old Tony Nelin and 20-year-old Timmy Ryan were in dire need of water in order to help build a backyard rink, they figured using a garden hose would end up being too expensive, so they decided to hook up a fire hose to a hydrant on Tinley Park High School property to complete the 91-by-43-foot rink.

They were caught by the school's janitor and on Friday were sentenced to 16 hours of community service each, along with paying off the $127.44 water bill. The judge who sentenced the pair understood their plight and offered a suggestion of civic duty.

From the Chicago Tribune:

The two, along with three friends, had constructed a 91-by-43-foot rink in the backyard of one of their homes in December so they and others would have a place to skate.

"I understand what your purpose was; the problem was how you went about it," Cook County Judge Daniel Lawrence Peters said at the Bridgeview courthouse. "If you have contacts with the Park District, you may be able to do something with the rink."

Their time on the ice could count toward their required hours if Nelin and Ryan can arrange to host a skating program for kids through their local park district, Peters said.

According to the Tribune, the publicity from the story last month earned the two an invite to the U.S. Pond Hockey Championship in Minnesota and a liner for the rink from a company in Wisconsin.

Nelin and Ryan, along with two other friends who helped build the rink, will split the $127.44 water bill.

Like the pair's original idea of creating a backyard rink, hopefully the judge's suggestion of opening it up to the community becomes a reality.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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