CAVE CITY — Police were called to Funtown Mountain on Thursday, after responding to two separate calls there Wednesday.
The police received a 911 call around 11 a.m. Thursday regarding a disturbance.
“When we arrived there wasn’t one,” said Police Chief Jeff Wright. “Everything seemed to be normal.”
All three calls were regarding Will Russell, owner of Funtown Mountain, who was allegedly damaging property in the attraction’s gift shop.
Russell spoke to media on Thursday as he sat in a red, white and blue lawn chair in front of the gift shop.
He told members of the media from the Glasgow Daily Times and WDRB – a television news station in Louisville – he had been detained most of the week in handcuffs.
He indicated he sustained injuries when he was arrested last weekend during The Lebowski Fest in Louisville.
Russell was charged with possession of marijuana, menacing and resisting arrest Saturday. He was arrested at Executive Strike & Spare, a bowling alley where the fest was celebrated, the Daily Times previously reported.
On Thursday, Russell said he broke 19 years of sobriety during the weekend event when he accepted a beer from someone in the parking lot of the bowling alley.
He also said police found him smoking a corn cob pipe.
When asked if he was smoking marijuana, Russell said he didn’t know what the substance was.
“It was green and it smelled a little bit like cotton candy. It was probably bluegrass, you know Kentucky bluegrass or hemp or something like that,” he said. “There’s a lot of names for it.”
Russell said he suffers from a bipolar condition and is taking medication. He also told reporters he was under the care of a psychiatrist and had been seeing the same physician for 20 years.
He said he had been hospitalized last year.
“I was given electric shock therapy. I have no short-term memory,” he said. “It’s been fine. I’ve got a lot of people to help me keep track of things.”
On Wednesday, after the second time police were summoned to Funtown Mountain, Russell was taken to a facility in Bowling Green.
Russell wrote about the incident on his personal Facebook page, and talked about it on Thursday with reporters.
“They interviewed me. They determined I was not a threat to myself or anyone else,” he said. “So, they let me go.”
Russell said he was dropped off at the White Squirrel Brewery in Bowling Green, where he was given a free hot dog and French fries, before being sent on his way.
“I was followed all night by cars and no one would talk to me and police officers kept harassing me at different establishments,” he said. “They were just asking me if I was OK, but I was really grieving.”
The area in front of the roadside attraction’s gift shop was smeared with bright yellow paint, and a smiley face and the word OK was painted on the gift shop’s door.
Russell told reporters he had been doing some research for his own personal growth and healing, and kind of went back to the days when he was in grade school and high school.
“Last night, I was in Bowling Green, pretending like I was in college,” he said.
When asked if the incident that occurred on Wednesday was some type of mental break, Russell said, “It was a break for sure. It was a break from everything. What it indicated to me was that I needed a break. So, I’m going fishing. I’m hoping that maybe my dad will go with me or a friend or something.”
Russell also told reporters he had plans to return to Louisville on Thursday where he will take care of some business, see his daughter, deposit some money and hopefully, pay some debts.
He said he owes money to the state of Kentucky.
Russell received a $250,000 loan in February from the Kentucky Tourism Development Loan Program to help pay for the Funtown Mountain project. The loan is to be repaid over 15 years at an interest rate of 6 percent.
In mid-April, Russell launched a Kickstarter.com fundraising campaign, which netted more than $25,000. Russell told the Daily Times in a May 14 article that the money raised through the on-line campaign wouldn’t be enough to cover the cost of everything he wanted to do at Funtown Mountain.
When asked how he intends to pay off his debt, Russell said, “I don’t know. How do you plan on paying off my debt? We have hams for sale. (They are) $45 bucks.”
The roadside attraction was temporarily closed Wednesday afternoon, but Russell reopened it Thursday afternoon and said it will remain open.
A concert by the Velcro Pygmies scheduled for Thursday night was cancelled.
At the end of the interview, when asked how he was doing, Russell said, “I’m ready to go back home to Louisville. I need a bath. I need a bandage or two. I’m looking for my teddy bear.”
Russell invited media inside the gift shop and changed the closed sign so that it read open.
Afterwards, he got aboard the trolley that had been used to close the entrance to the roadside attraction on Wednesday and drove away.