Brand new playground vandalized in Queens

March 21, 2012 2:39:54 PM PDT
A brand-new playground slated to open this summer in Queens is in ruins thanks to vandals.

The playground, located on Beach 29th Street in Far Rockaway, was nearly complete.

Police say vandals stole an excavator parked in the area overnight and rammed through a chain link fence. They then wrecked the new equipment, including slides.

A security fence is back up around the park. but the playground equipment is still broken. The vandals caused 100-thousand dollars worth of damage.

"I'm furious!! I mean this is terrible. Don't do things to hurt children," Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said.

Police are investigating, but the case is perplexing. What's the motive? How was it done? Someone somehow got a key to a backhoe and at 4:00 Tuesday morning they broke it, started it up and started driving all over the playground damaging almost every piece of equipment.

To operate that tractor you need to use your hands and feet. It isn't easy, and that's a good clue for police.

"It had to be someone who had been on a construction site before to operate. I mean it's not like a lawn mower, riding mower that you and I could do," Community Board District Manager Jonathan Gaska said.

Neighbors in Far Rockaway came to look at all the damage on Wednesday.

"It was supposed to open up in the summer and now we don't even know if kids are going to be able to come here at all this year and enjoy the park because of someone's stupidity," parent Tanya Jimenez said.

The Parks Department is still hoping to open up sometime this summer. In total, it's a 30-million dollar investment.

If you have any information about who did it, contact police at (718) 868-3400."

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