Vandals attack Veterans Memorial Park again

Members of the Throggs Neck Girls Softball League arrived at Bicentennial Memorial Park on Saturday, June 12, to find the portable bathroom destroyed, fence broken, garbage scattered, and bushes torched. Photos Courtesy of Rachel Mazza

Enough is enough! Members of the Throggs Neck Girl’s Softball League are furious over the vandalism destroying their field, which struck again this past weekend.

On Saturday, June 13, president of the league Rachel Mazza, was outraged when she passed the field within Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park, finding garbage scattered and the portable bathroom destroyed for the third time.

“This is the same old story I feel like I am saying the same thing over and over and over again,” said Mazza. “Something has to done and it must be a community effort. I feel like I’m stuck saying the same things with no results.”

The bathroom had been placed next to the field less than 24 hours prior to its destruction, and despite being chained to the fence was found turned on its side, with the top and bottom broken, and a garbage can inside.

Alongside the dugout, a pole had been lifted from the ground and removed from the fence, showing yet another attempt at ruining the girl’s chance for an undisturbed season, which begins on Saturday, June 27.

On the other side of the park, bushes had been torched around the park’s monument.

“We must continue to stick together to catch those responsible and punish them to the extent the law allows,” said Keith Freder, president of Edgewater Park Owner Cooperative. “This is a bump in the road for our combined efforts to stop vandalism in and around the park.”

According to a representative from the Department of Parks & Recreation, the security camera, made possible through a grant from Senator Jeff Klein, is expected to be installed within the next two weeks.

Additional security measures, such as the 7-foot steel fence, part of the $ 1.5 million dollar capital project allocated by the Mayor’s Office, the Office of the Borough President, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca, are expected to begin in November.

Despite the expected plans, Mazza worries for the upcoming season, feeling that this problem should not be an issue after such an extended period of time.

“Vandalism at Veterans Park has become a constant, and while more police presence is definitely needed it can’t be the only answer,” said Vacca, who was present Saturday to witness the destruction. “We’re not going to get 24-hour police presence there, and I think those of us who drive past the park should make a conscious effort to keep an eye out for anything suspicious and to call 911 if they see something.”

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