Marked Tree Residents Take Malcontent Out on Park Fence

May 17, 2006--Posted at 6:00 pm CST

Marked Tree, AR--Some Marked Tree residents are calling the vandalizing of a park civil disobedience, but city leaders are calling it something else….illegal criminal activity.  The fence is at the center of a debate about a park in town. 


Carver Park is on the North side of town next to public housing.  Police contend the park is a known haven for drug dealers looking to conduct business on the streets.  Police easily pointed out what they say were the remains of plastic bags used to sale drugs.  They argue that drug dealers were driving and parking in the park with others hanging out.  Each morning police say they would leave behind various trashes and litter including alcohol bottles.  They say the cars and the trash is not needed in the area and is a danger to kids at the park.


Their solution was to partially close the only fence into the park, effectively closing the park to vehicles.  The only problem was now residents didn’t like the cars parking along the streets.  Marked Tree Mayor Lawrence Ashlock says he has talked to residents about the situation and they had expressed bringing the situation up in front of the next council meeting.  Obviously they couldn’t wait though, as this morning city workers found the gate torn down and a bench burned.


‘Obviously we have an element here in the city that is not very good.  It isn’t everyone just a few.’ Marked Tree detective Mark Robinson told KAIT.  ‘We want to know obviously who did it but there are a lot of good people around here who are not as vocal as they could be because of perceived intimidation.’


It could be intimidation or something else.  Residents sitting just across the street at homes around the park said they were glad the fence was down.  Even adding that they are pretty sure it won’t be the last time. Marked Tree police say if so they’re going to be ready as they are stepping up patrols and are hoping for any clues into who brought the fence down.