Torched toilets, cracked sinks: Statewide spate of vandalism at parks prompts alarm
MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Parks officials statewide are begging vandals to stop destroying public parks facilities and asking park users to be on the lookout.
“I get incident reports pretty much daily about various forms of vandalism throughout our park system here on Maui, and it’s quite disheartening,” said Maui County Parks Director Pat McCall.
The problem is statewide, but Maui County has been hit particularly hard.
In March, a portable toilet was burned to the ground at Kanaha Beach Park in Kahului.
Less than a week later, a toilet was shattered at Keokea Park in Kula.
Three weeks later, mud bogging ruined a field at Central Maui Regional Sports Complex in Maui Lani.
Not too long after that, three other separate incidents happened: A sink was busted at Kepaniwai Park, two other portable toilets were burned at Kanaha Beach Park, and a sink was destroyed at Kanaha Beach Park.
And just this past weekend, someone burned the Maui High School Park field.
McCall said the ongoing damage has cost Maui County tens of thousands of dollars just for repairs.
“Not only is it the monetary damage that occurs, which is quite extensive, but it’s the amount of ruining the experience of others who use the parks here,” he said.
Haiku resident JoAnn Kee Chong calls the acts of vandalism unfair.
“We all work to make ends meet, and when you take our tax monies, and it goes for everything else but what it’s supposed to go for because of damages caused, I don’t think that’s fair,” she said.
McCall says there has been an uptick in cases since school has been out.
He wants to raise awareness in hopes it will be stopped.
“When our parks personnel who worked really hard trying to keep things up, when they’re spending their time cleaning up graffiti, or damage or repairing pieces that, you know, they were fine the day before,” McCall said.
“That’s just taking away time from doing regular maintenance work that would be much more beneficial.”
Kihei resident Sean Aquino said the community needs to work together to help stop it.
“If you see something, say something. It’s our community.”
“We like to see our kids out here. They play and enjoy the parks, and it’s unfortunate that these things are happening, and we see these things going on,” he said.
So far, there have been no arrests.
If you have any information or see someone vandalizing property, you are asked to call 911.
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