Volunteers plan clean-up after vandals hit park in Lebanon


LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - Lebanon Police are investigating and volunteers are planning a clean up event after vandals targeted a city park.

The vandalism can be seen on the concession stand wall, on the restroom door and on other places around Colonial East Park. It appears to be graffiti that was spray painted onto the property.

Mayor Amy Brewer saw the vandalism for the first time Tuesday.

"I'm so disheartened, and I'm very sad," Brewer said. "It's so discouraging to see something like this, for part of our park to be defaced."

Both city leaders and parents are not happy about it.

"Why? What drives whoever it was whether it was children or adults to do something like this?" Stephanie Welch, a parent, said.

Lebanon Police described the vandalism in a report as "tagging," which is a style of graffiti.

They are investigating and are following up on leads. It appears the vandalism took place sometime in July.

"There needs to be repercussions so that it doesn't continue," Ann Stengl, who lives in Lebanon, said.

Knowing that the crime occurred at a place where children and families gather often for outdoor activities and sporting events, the mayor wants this to serve as a lesson.

"This is a teaching moment for them [families] - for parents to say this is what we don't do," Brewer said.

People throughout the community are already coming together by planning a time to volunteer to help the city clean this up.

"We're going to make it nice again, and we hope everything stays that way," Welch said.

Until then, police are working to make sure the person, or people, who vandalized the park will be caught.

"You will be caught, and there will be consequences for your actions," Brewer said. "Lebanon, Ohio does not tolerate this kind of behavior."

City officials and residents are working together to determine a good time for the clean up event. It has not been scheduled yet.

Police said this could lead to criminal damaging charges.

Residents have said that nearby houses were also vandalized with spray paint about a month ago, but it's not clear right now whether the cases are connected.

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