SAUGUS — The teenagers kicked in doors and tore downspouts from buildings. They smashed glass bottles on the ground. They overturned trash cans, spreading litter and filth across the field.
The 30 or so young people who tore apart World Series Park were also caught on surveillance video, according to Park Superintendent Bob Davis.
“Viewing the tape made me sick to my stomach,” he said.
Friday night’s rampage was the latest in a string of vandalism at the town’s facilities this summer. But the damage to World Series Park feels personal to Davis, who was integral in establishing the park 13 years ago.
“To have all the work that’s been put into make World Series Park a first-class baseball facility disrespected like this is disgusting,” he said. “I just hope the police are able to identify those involved and prosecute them.”
Davis discovered the mess early Saturday morning and contacted police, but Lt. Ronald Giorgetti said they were unable to identify the suspects because faces and license plates were not clear.
The video shows young people, which Davis guesses are between the ages of 15 and 18, gathering between 11:30 p.m. and 12:15 a.m., drinking alcohol and taking selfies on their phones. The young men who appear on the video attempted to kick open the doors to the men’s bathroom and the concession stand.
Davis spent the latter end of his weekend sweeping and picking up cans, glass, and broken bottles. The door to the snack bar was replaced Monday morning. The rain gutter downspout, which was twisted up like a pretzel, was hung on the fence with a sign asking patrons to respect the space.
Two signs are prominently displayed at the park telling visitors that they are not welcome in the park after dark, said Davis.
“This kind of destructive activity should not be tolerated,” said Davis. “It only affects and destroys good things that are happening in our town. It’s ironic to see young people come into the park and try to destroy what has been created for them.”
This isn’t the first time the town has seen destruction to its facilities this summer.
Earlier in the month, three window screens were cut on a modular classroom at Oaklandvale Elementary School. Though there were no signs that the intruders gained entry to the building, Giorgetti estimates that the damage cost about $50 to repair. A member of the school’s maintenance team cut his weekend short to secure the building with wooden panels over the broken windows as a temporary solution.
At the end of June, vandals broke 25 windows at Saugus High School, leaving only the plexiglass windows untouched.
In July, Town Manager Scott Crabtree called the act disappointing and stressed the need for proper lighting and cameras at the town’s public schools.