The Fort Myers man who crushed a North Port girl’s car at the Redneck Yacht Club pleaded no-contest to a charge of criminal mischief Monday.
Norman Nowling is responsible for all court costs but adjudication is being withheld in the case, according to his attorney, Thomas Marryott. A jury trial was scheduled to start Monday at the Charlotte County Justice Center, but Marryott said Nowling was just ready to move on.
“He felt he had more important things to do and take care of, but he still feels he didn’t commit any crime,” Marryott said.
Nowling, 40, repeatedly drove his camouflaged van with 5-foot tires over the 16-year-old’s 1994 Toyota Carolla on the night of Feb. 25, until it was little more than a metal pancake. Nowling said he thought the vehicle was abandoned because it had already been run over twice. Nowling also said previously that he had received permission from Redneck Yacht Club staff to go ahead and crush the car.
In an effort to set things right, Nowling wrote a check to the victim and her family for $6,500 Feb. 28, hoping the family would be able to purchase the teen a new car.
The family was not present for the hearing Monday, according to Marryott, who added that his client stands by his statement that he had permission to crush the car.
Nowling was banned from the Redneck Yacht Club, located in Punta Gorda. Officials denied giving him permission to smash the car. Club spokesman Paul King could not be reached for comment Monday. It’s unknown whether Nowling will be permitted to re-enter the club.