Marines fine hikers over $500 for trespassing

Posted at 6:35 PM, Feb 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-01 21:39:15-05

There is a border battle of sorts at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

Bill Currier and Larry Gabele say they hike or bike in east Miramar six days a week. They said they have been doing it together for about 30 years, and it is where they do some of their best work.

"We're always solving the world's problems," Gabele joked.

On Friday, they ran into a problem of their own

"All of the sudden we hear this police car with its siren going," Currier explained.

They did not understand why, so they asked.

"He said we didn't know whether you guys were ISIS or not," Gabele said. "So, I guess we look like ISIS."

Currier found that to be pretty funny.

"If I was an ISIS terror I don't think I'd be creeping up on them in the middle of the day…. where there are 100 Marines with guns," Currier said.

Military police ticketed them for tresspassing.

The men said they knew it is federal land, but said that is the case for national parks, so they thought they were allowed to be there.

RELATED: Marines confiscate bikes, hand out tickets near Santee Lakes

In April, base leaders reached out to 10News to get a safety message out.

They want people to keep away from the base because there is a shooting range, so civilians could be putting themselves in the line of fire.

"We're not climbing over any fences to get here," Gabele said.

For months, military police posted signs and gave verbal warnings. Now, they are in full enforcement mode. Gabele said the only sign he saw was an unexploded ordnance warning.

As a veteran, he respects the fight for freedom, but he thinks the crackdown is stepping on his.

The cost was $525 a piece.

"There's so much open space in Scripps Ranch, and that's why we're here," Currier said.

"It's just like being out in country," Gabele added.

It seems that area is Marine country.

We looked and did not see defined borders online. The Marine Corps said they are working on a new map.