HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — A youth baseball complex in Glen Allen was vandalized this week and the search is on for the people responsible. The facility was spray painted with graphic images and lewd messages.
At about 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, vandals were caught in the act at Jack Bourne Park. A security camera captured two people spray painting a walkway at the facility, operated by the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association. The local non-profit organization provides a positive environment for kids to play baseball, softball and basketball while developing sportsmanship, athletic skills and character.
Board member, Ryan Hinton, spent a majority of Thursday and Friday power washing the graffiti and has a message for the vandals.
“You basically came out, vandalized property that really belongs to the kids,” Hinton told 8News. “This really hurts us. We had to come over and try to power wash some of the stuff that was written on the sidewalk before the kids came in for practice.”
The image spray-painted on the walkway is too graphic to show on television and for the hundreds of kids that play baseball on the fields. Hinton told 8News over 800 kids were registered this season as COVID restrictions have been lifted.
However, the graffiti didn’t stop at the walkway. Profanity was laced on the scores box, and symbols and letters were spray-painted in the pavilion, on poles, and signage. The vandals even tagged signs down the street from the facility, which sits in a residential neighborhood.
Unfortunately, Hinton shared that this isn’t the first time their organization has dealt with trespassing issues. In the past, someone threw rocks at the concession stand, shattering the windows, while some took their cars to the facility and did donuts on the field.
Board member Kris Perini has had two sons who went through the youth program and volunteers her time because it makes a difference in the lives of children.
“To see this destroyed for the kids makes me heartbroken,” Perini said.
The Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association strictly runs off of donations and volunteers. Perini says the non-profit has been hit hard, financially, due to the pandemic because sports were put on hold. Players were unable to hit the field and basketball court, which put a dent in the organization’s funds and budget.
Money from a recent fundraiser that was supposed to go towards facility maintenance and repairs is not going towards cleanup and more security cameras at the park.
“I don’t understand it,” Perini said. “We’re here supporting the community, so for someone to come in and intentionally destroy it or make fun of it and make it so that other people can’t enjoy it–it’s awful to me.”
No trespassing signs are posted all around the ballpark, but that didn’t deter the vandals. Board members are asking folks in the neighborhood to check their security cameras as well.
If you know anything about the vandalism call Henrico County Police.