MEXICO — Vandals caused more than $10,000 damage to the Mexico Recreation Park's storage garage, dump truck and ball fields sometime early Saturday morning.
“It's very discouraging,” said Recreation Director Greg Arsenault as he, parks employee Casey Arsenault and police officer Mike Grenier inspected the damage Monday afternoon.
Mexico police Chief James Theriault said Grenier discovered the damage around 3:40 a.m. Saturday. A stuffed chair that had been removed from the storage shed was still smoldering when he arrived.
Vandals entered the five-year-old building by kicking in a portion of the access door. They then trashed most of the contents of the building, then started up the riding lawnmower and tried to smash through the front garage door, and the back wall.
The impact of the mower not only destroyed the wall and door, but also moved the building off its foundation.
Grenier said those responsible also tried to burn down a nearby dugout.
The windows, headlights and mirrors of a dump truck parked adjacent to the building were also destroyed with a section of railroad tie.
Theriault said perpetrators then drove their vehicle on the nearby ball fields, spinning their tires and causing significant damage to the fields. A portable toilet located adjacent to the fields was also tipped over.
Officials believe the damage was caused sometime between 1 a.m. and 3:40 a.m. Saturday morning because a neighbor heard pounding sounds around 1 a.m. at the Roxbury Road park.
The town's insurance carrier and Selectman Peter Merrill, who also serves on the Recreation Committee, were inspecting the site Monday morning.
Anyone who may have heard or seen anything at the site during the early Saturday morning hours is asked to call the Mexico Police Department at 364-5686.
“It's just senseless,” Greg Arsenault said.