Vandals Target Ball Park
Prince George, B.C. – Spray painted walls and dugouts, broken glass and garbage strewn all over the place – Joe Martin Field has definitely seen better days.
The decades old ball park located in the Hart has been the repeated target of vandalism the past several years but never as bad as this.
“It’s been an issue for a while now, you always get a little bit of vandalism but this is extreme this year,” says Prince George Youth Baseball Association coordinator Rod Walters. “It’s the worst I’ve seen.”
Little leaguers from the ages of 8-11 play at the park, and he says parents are not impressed.
“They’re disgusted with this, because anybody involved with ball knows of this field and what Joe Martin has done for baseball. It’s a double whammy.”
Walters doesn’t know who the perpetrators are but guesses the park’s isolated location makes it a prime target.
“It’s isolated and that’s what makes it such a nice field. In the summer time it’s a beautiful place to play.”
He also says it’s frustrating considering “it takes a lot of our energy to try and keep this park looking decent and respectful for our youth. You want them to be able to come here, play ball in a safe location. So when this happens it’s not a very good example.”
Prince George RCMP Corporal Craig Douglass says police are well aware of the problem.
“Yes, Joe Martin is one spot that we’ve been to recently. It was particularly hit hard,” he says. “It’s something that we’re familiar with and we’re obviously trying to identify who’s responsible for this.”
He adds those responsible will face consequences once caught.
“Depending on whose doing this, their history, the nature of the call, how much damage was done, we definitely look at the courts as an option,” says Douglass. “A charge of mischief in the Criminal Code.”
As for cleaning up Joe Martin Field prior to opening day May 4, Walters says they plan on painting over the graffiti this weekend (the paint has been provided by the City).
He also has the following message for the person or people guilty of these acts.
“Put your energy to something else, something more productive.”