Vandals hit Harmon Field facilities again

Published 12:58 pm Friday, July 25, 2008

Vandals struck Harmon Field this past weekend, breaking windows, damaging the picnic shelter and pushing trash cans, tables and benches into the Pacolet River.

It was at least the third act of vandalism at Tryon&squo;s park since the spring of this year, according to Harmon Field officials.

Screen and wood was damaged at the picnic shelter and windows were broken at the open air gym and at the Tryon Arts and Crafts building, part of the former Tryon Middle School.

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The estimated damage for this weekend&squo;s incident is $1,200.

Harmon Field officials recently decided to rope off the park at 11 p.m. every night to discourage some of the unwanted activity at the park at night.

Nightly patrols at Harmon Field have also been increased in the past several months by both&bsp; the Tryon Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff&squo;s Office.

The Harmon Field Board of Supervisors several months ago began discussions about placing video cameras throughout the park. The costs for doing so at the time were significant, they said.

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said Harmon Field has closed the park and increased patrols because of the problems, but foot traffic is difficult to monitor.

He said officials have discussed video cameras as a possible solution, although he said, &dquo;I don&squo;t have any magic answers.&dquo;

Over the years, Harmon Field has been hit by vandalism many times. Over Memorial Day weekend last year, teenagers stole a town trash truck that was being stored at Harmon Field and wrecked it on Howard Gap Road. Restrooms and other areas have been vandalized many times.

Anyone with information regarding this past weekend&squo;s vandalism at Harmon Field or any past incidents, is urged to make an anonymous call to the Foothills Crimestoppers at 1-800-847-7119.