Vandals destroy toilets at Lions Foundation Park
By MIKE EDDLEMAN
Vandals destroyed a toilet and two urinals in the restrooms at Foundation Park in Liberty Hill over the weekend in a second recent incident at the park.
Liberty Hill Police are investigating the crime, and estimating the damage to be about $1,000.
It is only the latest vandalism the Liberty Hill Development Foundation has had to cope with recently. Larry Floyd, president of the Board of Directors that owns the private park, said $5,000 was recently spent to repair damage to a slide on the playscape from a separate incident.
“Someone just beat that slide up so bad the kids couldn’t even use it, and we had to repair that,” he said.
Floyd has been in contact with the police department, and hopes those responsible for the bathroom vandalism are caught.
“I told them the Foundation would file charges if they found someone,” Floyd said. “We are talking about securing the bathrooms after we (repair) them and not having them open 24 hours a day. It’s just an unfortunate deal.”
Floyd had recently gone to the Liberty Hill Police Department to ask for increased patrols of the park.
“There has been some suspicious activity in the park they were worried about and they asked for some extra patrols,” Police Chief Maverick Campbell said. “We pretty much routinely patrol the park on a regular basis, but we stepped it up a notch because of their concerns.”
Through the increased patrols officers had not seen any suspicious activity until the call came Sunday reporting the restroom vandalism.
Campbell said the incident occurred between the evening of Jan. 18 and Jan. 20 when officers responded to the report.
Police are following up on a number of leads and Campbell said there is potential evidence on video from cameras in the area.
“There is some video footage and photographs we are following up on,” he said. “At this point we are not going to release any of that to the public due to the ongoing criminal investigation.”
Campbell also emphasized the impact it has on the whole community when damage like this is done.
“Foundation Park is private property,” he said. “It is not owned by the city and that’s important for folks to know that the Foundation Park board allows public access and they’re going out of their way in welcoming the community to utilize the park and the amenities. Respect the property, and if it’s a public park, remember your tax dollars go into that.”
The support from the community since the incident has been a bright spot, according to Floyd.
“There are a few hundred kids out there playing baseball, and the library has a big following,” Floyd said. “It’s great for the people who come and walk and bring their kids to the playscape. That’s what it’s for. People should consider the park theirs, the Foundation is just a group that is a caretaker of it. If you see someone out there trashing your property at least let us know.”
The investigation is ongoing and Campbell said the department expects to resolve the issue.
“There are criminal consequences involved with making decisions like what happened over the weekend,” Campbell said. “We have leads and those involved will be caught sooner or later. The best course of action on the part of those who did this would be to turn themselves in.”