walter.jpg image by nastrond667

[“You are entering a world of pain.” Jersey’s bowlers will defend their city’s tax ratables to the death.]

For extreme bowling aficionados nationwide, the most brutal bowling scenes ever filmed include Boris Karloff’s death scene in the original Scarface, Woody Harrelson’s ball-return hand mangling in Kingpin, and John Goodman’s Vietnam Vet going off in The Big Lebowski.  Still,  the Scorsese-like arson job on January 11th that wiped out Vineland, NJ’s Loyle Lanes stunned everyone when it turns out the alleged firebug is the owner of rival Pike’s Alley, Steven Henry Smink.  Pike’s recently lost two leagues to Loyle over broken equipment,  saw its liquor license revoked, and was under investigation by the state for $3000 on unauthorized 50/50 raffles.  Smink apparently chose to go “Goodfellas” and hit Jersey where it hurts most “ its bowling.  While no Springsteen benefit has been announced or even rumored,’s Jason Laday reports here:

Both Smink and Manzano each have bail set at $300,000 and as of Wednesday were in the custody of detectives in Philadelphia pending extradition to New Jersey, according to Ulrich.

The juvenile was released to his mother pending further court action from the Cumberland County Prosecutor™s Office.

œIt appears that it was Steven Smink who set up the arson, added Ulrich. However, the lieutenant declined to describe the relationship between the three suspects.

œBut they are connected, he added.

Responding to the news, family spokesman and first-generation co-owner Charles Loyle said he couldn™t fathom why anyone would want to do this to his family.

œI can™t image someone having the idea to do this to us, said Loyle, flanked by his brother, John Loyle, and second-generation owners Michael and Chuck Loyle. They were standing before the ruined shell of the South Delsea Drive attraction.

œThis family has been part of the Rotary Club, I™ve served on the hospital board, we™re part of the community, he added. œTo take someone™s opportunity to make income, to take away a place of recreation for residents and to tax away a source of tax ratables for the city ” it™s beyond our comprehension.

Members of the Loyle family stated they had never met Smink or the other suspects in person. However, they stated customers who also bowled at Pike Lanes would tell them Smink would speak openly about œchallenging them or intending to œput them out of business.