Teens admit vandalizing two recreational fields




Long Beach police say poor decision making has three teenagers in trouble with the law. Officers say around 6:30 p.m. Saturday night a resident noticed the juveniles driving in circles around a local park. The citizen called police and then followed behind the vehicle until police arrived, however, the damage had been already been done.

Once he saw the tire tracks, Long Beach alderman Gary Ponthieux says he was angry that someone could have so little regard for people who enjoy spending time at St. Patrick City Park.

“The young kids use it for baseball practice, soccer practice,” Ponthieux says. “There are kids out here all the time.”

Long Beach police say thanks to a concerned citizen officers were able to quickly arrest the people they say are responsible for the vandalism.

Chief Wayne McDowell says, “We had three juveniles, two 16-year-olds and a 15-year-old that were here. Come to the park and drove around tearing up the field. After we caught one of the juveniles, they were forthwith of what occurred here.”

“They entered somewhere in this area here and they just tore up all the field out there,” said, Ponthieux. “A lot of the grass, a lot of the sod, this was all re-sodded, replanted after the storm. There was extensive work done with city government money to have this all replenished. For these juveniles to come over here and do this, it’s uncalled for. ”

Police say after the teens were arrested they admitted to also taking a joy ride through the soccer field at Long Beach Middle School. That field was also damaged.

The teens are charged with malicious mischief as misdemeanors but police say that could become felonies depending on how much it costs to repair the two fields. The chief says his message to young people is to stop and consider the consequences before acting.

“You really need to think of your actions of what’s going to happen,” says Chief McDowell. “When you come out here and tear up property you will be charged with it.”

The Long Beach police chief says the teens’ parents will likely be held financially responsible for all the damages.

By Danielle Thomas

WLOX- ch 13

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