Park vandals torch kids' slide

SANDUSKY Vandals who destroyed a children's slide, wrote obscene graffiti and yanked six picnic tabl
Tom Jackson
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

Vandals who destroyed a children's slide, wrote obscene graffiti and yanked six picnic tables from their concrete anchors at Wightman-Wieber Park gained the ire of Sandusky's city manager.

Matt Kline, disgusted with the damage, passed around photographs at Monday's Sandusky City Commission meeting and told the crowd he became very angry when he heard about the latest assault on the park at the corner of Milan Road and Boalt Street.

D.J. Loomis, a construction/maintenance employee for the city, was bolting tables back onto a concrete pad Tuesday afternoon. All six tables had been torn out of the concrete, Loomis said.

Other city workers dealt with the graffiti earlier in the day.

They "removed the cuss words," Loomis said.

But there was nothing city workers could do for a slide, damaged beyond repair by a large hole burned into the plastic.

"That will have to be bought brand new," he said.

The damage has attracted the attention of Sandusky police, Loomis said.

"The cops were here a little while ago -- detectives, taking pictures," he said.

The damage apparently is recent.

Park visitor Pat Davis, an employee of Serving Our Seniors, said she saw no damage when she visited the park last week. She said her grandchildren sometimes play at the park.

"I think it's awful," she said. "Kids need a nice place to come and play."

Kristine Baker, 23, who lives near the park, brought four of her small children to the park Tuesday.

Baker said when she got off work Saturday, "My kids said some kids burned the slide."

Baker doesn't appreciate the profanity written at the park.

"My kids can start reading now, so they are reading what words are on there," she said.

Wightman-Wieber isn't the only park being hit, said Stephanie Hall, 24, another Sandusky resident.

"It seems to be all over every park in Sandusky," she said. "It's not just this one."

Kline said he hopes residents of the neighborhood will help police curb the vandalism.

"If there's anything they can report, please report to our police department as soon as possible," he said.