A St. Helens High School baseball coach has been arrested and accused of distributing marijuana to players during an overnight outing in which the team was mourning the loss of its head coach, who died the day before.
Randy J. Fenimore, 23, a volunteer assistant coach, was arrested Thursday and faces six counts of marijuana delivery and six counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, according to St. Helens Police Sgt. Phil Edwards. Fenimore was booked into the Columbia County Jail. Bail was set at $420,000.
Edwards said the incident occurred April 9, when Fenimore was supervising eight players on an overnight trip to a St. Helens batting practice facility at 555 Columbia River Highway. The outing was intended to help players mourn the loss of head coach Tim Lokken, who died from an illness the day before.
Edwards said police believe seven of the players smoked marijuana during the trip, and that Fenimore and two players provided the drugs. He said it appears the players smoked two joints among them.
"It seemed to be a spur-of-the-moment idea brought up by one individual," Edwards said. "(Fenimore) was present during the conversation and did nothing to discourage (the use of marijuana)."
A report from a concerned parent triggered the investigation that led to Fenimore's arrest, Edwards said.
Fenimore has previously been cited for marijuana possession, according to St. Helens police.
The seven players had already been suspended for violating school policy.
Lokken, 51, died April 8 after being hospitalized for several days while suffering flu symptoms. He was in his second season as the team's head coach.
A secretary at the St. Helens School District said Superindendent Patricia Adams plans to release more information Monday, but the district would not comment on the issue until then.