SENECA, S.C. (WSPA) – Seneca police say they have arrested 4 juvenile vandals that left thousands of dollars in damage at an Upstate park.
It happened at Blue Ridge Field, an important piece of African American history for the community.
They say the kids range in age from 12 – 14 years-old.
They won’t be releasing their names due to their young age, but they are all charged with Malicious Damage to Real Property Greater that $10,000.
They will be released back into the custody or their parent or guardians pending trial.
The city is seeking restitution.
“It just saddens my heart to know something like this is taking place,” said Seneca resident Cecelia McWhorter.
The ceiling was ripped out and electrical wires dangled. Seneca Police Lieutenant Casey Bowling says this was the scene discovered Sunday morning at Blue Ridge Field.
“This is heartbreaking,” he said. “We’ve had concerts down here, we’ve had festivals.”
He said vandals damaged the park’s storage building and bathrooms while harming its history.
“This is the site of the historically African American high school – Blue Ridge High school.”
Nowadays for folks like Cecelia McWhorter, the park plays an important role.
“For senior citizens, it’s a walking trail. They come over early in the morning and walk,” she said.
The trail was littered with pieces of insulation from inside the storage facility. Lt. Bowling said there are holes in the wall from what appears to be a bicycle being rammed into it.
“It’s been damaged before – around five or six other times but not to this extent,” Lt. Bowling said.
Lieutenant Bowling says police are continuing to follow leads.
“The city of Seneca has put so much time and effort into preserving the history of blue ridge high school and to see someone just destroy it like this. It really hurts,” he said.
Investigators say there was no graffiti or markings to indicate it was a hate crime or racially motivated.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Seneca Police Department at 864-885-2718.