Vandalism discovered at Cartee softball field over the weekend
A bottle of lighter fluid marks the spot where someone burned through new turf on Cartee Field over the weekend.
"It's not really what you want to walk into on a Saturday morning," Joe Jacoby, of Field Turf Northwest, said.
The small fire, which was set in the third base coach's box sometime overnight on Friday, didn't cause any major damage; but the vandalism didn't stop there. Someone also opened water faucets that flooded parts of the park, which caused dirt that had been used to support the new surfaces to wash away. A forklift used to help install the new artificial turf was also targeted.
"The hood was wide open, trash was all over the engine, our fire extinguisher was emptied and placed in the outfield, gas cap open, doors wide open, really haven't gone through the full extent of it, but that's what we found this morning," Jacoby said.
Daniel Vernon, executive director of the Anchorage Sports Association that operates the softball complex in Russian Jack Springs Park, said it was heartbreaking to see the vandalism on the first day of the holiday weekend.
"I'm really angry, especially our brand new fields have experienced this kind of damage right off the bat," Vernon said.
It wasn't the first time the complex has been damaged, he said, saying it was also broken into multiple times over the winter.
"It gets a bit disheartening to constantly have to rally back instead of being able to spend the money appropriately to improve on what we have," Vernon said.
However, Vernon said he feels fortunate the damage wasn't worse. The fields are still usable, but it's a setback in the ongoing turf project.
The vandalism was reported to the Anchorage Police Department. Officials with APD have not returned KTVA's requests for information regarding the incident.
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