EDITOR’S NOTE: Additional information on this subject was gathered just as the Nov. 1 Keizertimes was going to press. This story includes that material.
By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Four teenagers have been tracked down and will be taking responsibility for a recent vandalism spree at Keizer Little League Park.
Sgt. Andrew Copeland with the Keizer Police Department said officer James Young found three 17-year-olds and one 18-year-old.
“Through the course of the investigation, he got all of them to confess causing the vandalism, which substantiates the reports we’ve taken,” Copeland said Wednesday. “All four expressed regret and are taking responsibility for their actions.”
That will include the teens working with their parents and officials with the Keizer Youth Sports Association (KYSA) to get the funds necessary to replace vandalized items, Copeland said.
Kurt Barker, KYSA president, said that is indeed the plan.
“We are communicating with the parents and hope to come up with a resolution,” Barker said.
Copeland said the matter will be pursued as a civil process, not a criminal process. As such, no arrests are being made.
“It’s a win for the community and the police department,” Copeland said. “If you go through the police department, the process takes a while with the court system. This will not be a criminal investigation. The equipment needs to be built before the winter, so that when baseball season starts those things are ready and done.”
Copeland gave credit to his officer for the work done.
“James Young did a great job getting us to this point,” Copeland said. “He talked with each kid and each parent. The kids are regretful.”
KLL Park is a city park operated in a joint agreement between KYSA, Keizer Little League and the city. Bill Lawyer, Public Works director for the city, said that can make doing repairs a bit tricky.
“Ultimately, the responsibility to pay for repairs falls on the responsible party,” Lawyer said. “There are portions the city is responsible for and there are portions KYSA is responsible for. KYSA is responsible for dugouts. Scoreboxes are vague, as they are not specified in the agreement. The tables, I believe, are under KYSA’s agreement.”
Lawyer noted city officials have contacted the city’s insurance company about the damages, but have not filed any claims.
Barker said an “enormous deductible” would be triggered if the KYSA’s insurance company was involved.
“It will not be used in this case,” Barker said of KYSA’s insurance.
During the Oct. 21 Keizer City Council meeting, several councilors expressed concern about damage being repaired before the city’s insurance company got involved. But Lawyer said Wednesday repairs can be done.
“From my standpoint, they don’t need any approval from the city to go ahead,” Lawyer said. “If there is a deal to take care of it at no cost to the city or KYSA, go ahead and proceed.”