Police seek suspects who damaged new playground equipment in Orange County

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Vandals damage, deface new park in Wawayanda
Marcus Solis has more on the investigation into the vandalism and defacing of New Hampton Park in Wawayanda.

WAWAYANDA, New York (WABC) -- Police in Orange County are searching for the vandals who damaged a playground in Wawayanda.

The discovery was made over the weekend in the New Hampton Park on Ryerson Road.

Authorities say someone, likely kids, painted vulgar language around the park and damaged the recently installed playground equipment.

"I was devastated because we've never had anything like this in our little community," said Wawayanda Town Clerk Kathryn Sherlock.

The town spent over $400,000 to buy and install new equipment in three parks.

The vandalism was limited to one of the two playground sets, but the one damaged is designed with accessibility options for kids with disabilities.

"We're trying to provide a place for families to come out and enjoy each other and meet their friends, it's a gathering place," Sherlock said.

Besides the blue paint markings and graffiti, scorch marks are also visible -- created by someone on a motorcycle doing doughnuts.

A semi-covered picnic area was also damaged.

"We're not taking it lightly, we did contact the state police, they are looking into it and investigating it, I hope whoever did it understands that it is not acceptable to do something like this," said Town Supervisor Denise Quinn.

The park is located in a remote part of the hamlet with few recreation options.

It's also likely the vandalism spree went unnoticed until it was discovered by maintenance workers. Town officials are asking the public to help them identify the suspects.

"I really think kids today need to learn how to respect personal property, how to respect public property and not cause this damage because in the long run they are the ones who are going to lose anyway," Sherlock said.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.


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