The Wharton Police Department is investigating a complaint made by Wharton Little League regarding vandalism that occurred this week.
A Facebook post by Wharton LL published on Tuesday, Jan. 21 explained that “due to vandalism at the park again, it would be closed to outside use and will only be used for Little League purposes from today forward.”
Later in the day, the league published photos, showing the extent of the damage, especially to the restroom stalls, even the piping.
Det. Ariel Soltura, with the Wharton Police Department, said a report was received the same day in reference to copper theft.
“It occurred at the Wharton Little League within the last three weeks, along with the added vandalism and we will work hard to develop suspects,” Soltura said.
He said Wharton PD supports the activities of Wharton Little League, which has begun signing up youth for the upcoming season.
In fact, live registration at Wharton Little League Park will be Saturday, Jan. 25 and Saturday, Feb. 1, both days from 8 a.m. to noon.
People who come will see the damage for themselves.
Robert Vandagriff, who is the Wharton LL president, said as a result of the vandalism that has occurred in the past, the batting cages and any part of the property, will be closed.
“We have tried to let community use (our) facilities as a place to practice and it has cost us year after year,” Vandagriff said. “We cannot absorb the cost to repair and clean up everyone’s messes.”
He adds that if a person who is not part of Wharton Little League is seen on the premises, they will be asked to leave – no exceptions.
“Notices will be placed around park and it will be enforced,” Vandagriff said.
When the league posted multiple photos of the damage, it described the scene as “very sad, but we won’t stop.”
One of the photos included one of the Wharton LL teams after a game with players and coaches raising their fingers signifying “No. 1.”
“The last picture is why we do what we do. For the kids in our community,” Vandagriff said.
Soltura said Wharton PD records indicate that the last call officers had at 200 Circle Drive (Wharton Little League) prior to the latest incident, was circa 2012.
“The Wharton Police Department fully supports the league and their desire to add surveillance cameras around the park that will aid our department in prosecuting any future offenders,” Soltura said.
For those who are registering their children this weekend and next month, you are asked to bring cash or check, a birth certificate and three proofs of residency.