Austintown police looking for park damage suspects

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Austintown Township Park officials are asking for people to come forward after a softball field was destroyed over the weekend after heavy rains.

It already has been fixed, but it took a lot of time and money to get it back to normal. Austintown Township Park Supervisor Todd Shaffer said he has a theory on what happened. He thinks a group of people had a mud fight on softball field No. 5 because footprints and hole were found on the infield.

“There was footprints as deep as 6 to 10 inches deep into this dirt. That is not easy to fix,” Shaffer said.

Township park employees and a group from the Austintown Girls Softball League first had to level the entire infield before putting the dirt back on top because the holes were so deep.

Shaffer thinks the damage happened sometime on Saturday. He said the vandals even ignored the sign asking people to stay out when the field is wet.

“We found footprints from toddler sized to adult, so there was a variety of ages and there was quite a few people that was on this field,” Shaffer said.

He said between new dirt and manpower, it cost approximately $1,000 to fix the damage. Now he is asking for people who might have seen something to come forward.

“Somebody would have had to seen this on a Saturday afternoon in a large group. And we are hoping someone comes forward,” Shaffer said.

Austintown police are investigating this incident, and a $500 reward is being offered for anyone who provides information that leads to a conviction.

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