Vandals hit Jonesboro park

Vandals hit Jonesboro park

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Vandals hit Joe Mack Campbell Park in Jonesboro over the weekend and caused thousands of dollars of damage.


Hixson Huffstetler, Jonesboro Parks and Recreation director, said 9 windows were broken, fires were started in the restrooms, and the soap and toilet paper dispensers were damaged.

He estimates the damage to cost at least $5,000.

"That's just windows. That's not even counting the cabinets that they set on fire and everything else," he said.

Huffstetler said the vandals didn't steal anything and they didn't get into any other buildings.

While the park was locked up over the weekend, he believes he knows how they got in.

“They came in on foot and probably hopped the fence somewhere or through the set of woods that's to the North of Joe Mack Campbell Park," Huffstetler said. 

This isn't the first time the park has been vandalized.

Gary Hoyt, president of the Jonesboro Baseball League, said the concession stands were broken into last year. He's frustrated these incidents keep occurring.

“It just infuriates me," Hoyt said. "I can't even put into words how frustrating it is for someone to come in and destroy that."

He said these incidents not only impact the community financially, it also hurts the children who participate in sports.

“Your youth sports programs are almost like your lifeline, your backbone of your community, to build character, hard work and discipline in our youth," Hoyt said. "For someone to destroy that, a place where a child can have almost a safe haven to participate in sports. I'm lost for words.”

He says it could have an impact on the future of sporting events at the park.

“Yes, we could still run the tournament and function the concession, but just the impact of people out of state and out of town seeing boards on windows and vandalism not knowing the security of the facility they're at for the tournament might cost us teams from out of town coming back to Jonesboro,” Hoyt said.

Hoyt thinks the city should increase security at the park.

“It's really the only way you can go from here," he said. "You just have to put your trust in people. If we have to hire people to monitor, then that's another expense that wasn't in the budget," Hoyt said.

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