Acushnet’s Pope Park Suffers Vandalism, Bad Behavior By Teens
ACUSHNET (WBSM) — Acushnet’s Pope Park is a true gem for baseball lovers on the SouthCoast. The home of Fairhaven Acushnet Youth Baseball, it stands out as a beautiful facility for an outstanding local league.
However, in recent weeks, it has also been the target of vandalism and misbehavior.
On Wednesday, June 14 at about 4 p.m., what appears to be a group of teen boys trashed one of the park’s restrooms. WBSM has chosen to blur any visible facial features because they may be minors, but the unedited photos can be seen on the Fairhaven Acushnet Youth Baseball Facebook page.
“A board member happened to be stopping by at the time and caught them and called the police,” said Acushnet Park Commissioner Chad Leclair.
Acushnet Police Chief Christopher Richmond told WBSM officers reported to the scene but couldn’t find the teens.
“We received a report at about 4:17 p.m. that a group of teenagers were kicking signs and knocking trash barrels over. Officers responded to the area but did not locate the youths nor did they locate any damage in the area,” Richmond said.
“The restrooms were checked but they were locked at the time,” he said. “Later in the evening, one of the park commissioners sent us the photos of the damage and suspects the league posted on social media. That was the first vandalism report in the area of the park this year.”
According to Leclair, though, there have been multiple incidents at the park in recent weeks.
“Pope Park is becoming a big hangout but a lot of the kids are disrespectful of the property,” he said. “Painting swears on the dugout walls, trashing restrooms, leaving trash all over, riding bikes at high rates of speed through the park while people are there with little children, swearing.”
Leclair said the bathrooms were “trashed” twice this week, and that a couple of weeks ago “a paper towel holder was ripped off the wall.”
Richmond said he was aware of the incident with the bike riders.
“About two weeks ago, we received a delayed report via a third party of a group of youths riding their bicycles in a careless manner through the park while ball games were being played,” he said. “The witness was encouraged to call the police department when that behavior was occurring so it could be documented and addressed immediately.”
After this latest incident, Richmond said Acushnet Police would be “focusing additional patrols on the park area.”
He said the investigation into Wednesday’s bathroom vandalism is ongoing, and that anyone with information regarding the incident should contact Acushnet Police at (508) 998-0240.