Teen charged after damaging 4 east end soccer fields

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

KINGSTON – John Machin Soccer Park is one of the largest and busiest soccer parks in all of Kingston. But now about 500 players will have to play elsewhere after 4 of the 10 fields were destroyed by vandals over the Canada Day long weekend.
All that’s left is deep gouges from tire tracks after a vehicle drove onto the fields and performed ‘doughnuts’ in the soft grass.
Heather Senoran/Videographer: “Police say the culprit was a male teen driving his father’s truck.
A joy ride with his friends is what caused these fields to be torn apart. The investigating officer says the crime was solved quickly thank to tips from community members and a mud trail that lead straight to the house of one of the youths inside the vehicle.”
Kingston Police have charged a 17 year old male with mischief under 5 thousand dollars and mischief by preventing lawful enjoyment of property.
Clint Wills/Det. Const. Kingston Police:
“I don’t think the youth that were involved in this were bad kids, I think they just exercised poor judgement and because of it hundreds of kids are affected.”
The President of the the Kingston United Soccer Club says this is a major set back for community — right in the middle of a busy summer season– now that the fields are out of commission.
Tim Scott/President, Kingston United Soccer Club:
“Primarily for safety reasons because there’s significant divots and chunks of the turf that have been torn out. It’s just not safe for children to use because they could trip and hurt themselves.” Councillor Ryan Boehme often uses the park as a player himself and for recreational use with his family.
He says since the bulk of the damage was done to the smaller fields, it’s the mini- athletes who are affected.
Ryan Boehme/City Councillor: “This is something where it takes tax dollars to maintain these fields. So there’s no win here. I just hope that when people do things like this they can learn as lesson from it.”
According to police it could take the city’s Parks and Recreation department anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks for repairs — but since the damage is so significant to multiple turfs –it is possible these fields will remain inoperable for the rest of the soccer season.

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