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Parents, volunteers turn out after Johnson Field vandalism

By Jefferson Weaver

jeffersonweaver@nrcolumbus.com

 

Bill Johnson Field at Evergreen was vandalized sometime during the overnight hours of June 1-2, when someone spray painted graffiti on several buildings and broke into the restrooms.

Chad Fowler posted about the damage on his Facebook page, drawing dozens of comments and more than 125 comments within a few days.

“Just upsetting to see all of the parents’ hard work being vandalized,” Fowler wrote. “Is it the best looking ballfield around? No it’s not, but it serves the purpose of allowing kids to play ball and hopefully have fun and stay out of trouble.”

Several of the slogans and symbols resemble gang “tags,” but Capt. Jason Soles of the Sheriff’s Office said the origin of the vandalism hasn’t been confirmed.

Bill Johnson Field at Evergreen was vandalized Friday night, but parents and volunteers turned out to clean up the beloved park over the weekend.

“We have an investigator assigned to the case,” Soles said. “There isn’t much to go on, but we are working it. We’ve also contacted a gang expert to see if the graffiti is gang-related.”

The white spray-painted markings include at least one vulgar word and a sexually-explicit drawing. The graffiti was painted on the side of the buildings facing U.S. 74.

Handpainted “Evergreen” markings on the buildings were also partially obscured by paint.

Bill Johnson Field has a history of community involvement, and reaction to the spray-painted mischief was swift – by Sunday, parents and volunteers had removed most of the graffiti with scrub brushes, a pressure washer and elbow grease.

See Friday’s News Reporter for more on this developing story.

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