by Lisa Tome
For the second time in three months, vandals have targeted playground equipment in Rising Sun.
Between September 15-16, someone turned out in Diddie Richardson Park, East Main Street, and did substantial damage to a sliding board.
Commissioner Dave Warnick explained that Public Works Director Ron Thomas got a phone call that the spiral sliding board, which is attached to a large play set, was punctured in several places and can't be used. It has been blocked off with caution tape.
"We're hoping we can just replace this section. But these can run in the thousands of dollars. They are pretty expensive," said Warnick. "I don't believe we are insured for this kind of vandalism."
A police report has been filed. Town officials are considering offering a reward or other options such as amnesty if the culprit or culprits step forward and offer to pay restitution and perform community service.
"This saddens me. I am angered. A little girl ripped her pants on it (the damage). Somebody could have been injured. As a parent, I'd be upset. This was intentionally damaged and the vandalism angers me. And as a taxpayer, this is senseless," said Warnick.
Another slide at the park was also damaged. Holes were poked in it, but it can be used.
"The Town just spent money (on playground equipment). This is senseless and selfish and the people being harmed are those that use the playground. And the taxpayers are responsible for paying for it," Warnick said.
Earlier this year, between May 31-June 2, new playground equipment in Veterans Park was vandalized. The equipment was in the park awaiting set up when the touch up paint was taken from inside the package and used to "decorate" the equipment, grass, and park pavilion with graffiti.
During that incident the park pavilion floor was painted with swastikas, genitalia, and drug references. The playground equipment cardboard and plastic packaging were sprayed with curse words and "ha ha ha". Trees were also sprayed with paint. The new equipment, which is worth about $90,000, and paid for with grant funds, was not damaged. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Rising Sun Police at 410-658-4101.