Police investigate Dempsey Challenge tent vandalism at park in Lewiston

LEWISTON — Despite arriving at work Tuesday morning to find tents set up for the Dempsey Challenge buried in mud and rain, Jason LeBourdais hopes the community rallies to support this weekend's major fundraising effort.

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Derek Hill, left, and Jose Almodovar put up one of two tents that were vandalized at Simard-Payne Memorial Park on Tuesday afternoon. More than $2,000 worth of straps that hold the tents in place were cut by vandals sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday morning, said Jason LeBourdais of Lewiston-Auburn Tent & Awning. LeBourdais said it took seven workers four hours to put the awnings up on Monday. "It's really a shame," LeBourdais said. "This is our community and this is what we have become."

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Jason LeBourdais of Lewiston-Auburn Tent and Awning walks past the two awnings at Simard-Payne Memorial Park that were vandalized between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

"I'm trying to look at the positive here," LeBourdais said Tuesday night. "The good news is, the Dempsey (Challenge) will go on. We were able to fix it."

LeBourdais, general manager of Lewiston-Auburn Tent & Awning Co. Inc., reported 7:30 a.m. Tuesday that the 2-inch ratchet ropes that held up tents at Simard-Payne Memorial Park had been cut. He said vandals sliced 66 ropes holding up two massive dining tents, one 120 feet by 40 feet and the other 80 feet by 40 feet. as well as a couple of smaller tents. Only the two larger tents fell.

The damage occurred sometime overnight, LeBourdais said, adding that he left the site around 7:30 p.m. Monday.

LeBourdais said the worst part of the vandalism was that the culprits must have continued cutting straps long after the larger tents had fallen. He said cutting just one side's worth of straps would have brought down the entire tent.

Police are investigating the vandalism. Sgt. Trevor Campbell said there were no suspects as of Tuesday night.

"It's an unfortunate incident, but we have full confidence that the tent company is going to fix the problem," said Mark Turcotte, spokesman for the Dempsey Challenge. "We just want to focus on the weekend and creating great memories for all involved."

LeBourdais said damage to the straps totaled more than $2,000. He said that didn't include the added costs for labor — it took seven workers four hours to put the awnings up on Monday — or to clean the mud and rainwater off the tents.

"It's really a shame," LeBourdais said. "This is our community and this is what we have become. I'm just hoping that everybody rises above it and feels like this (vandalism) is part of Lewiston, but it's not all of Lewiston."

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Douglas Mac antSaior's picture


These scumbags should fear karmic reprecussions from attacking a cancer fundraiser!

Won't have to look very far..

Where are the police in Lewiston??? These tents were out in the open and the damage was not done in a few minutes..It took awhile to cut down that many tents and nobody saw them?? Maybe if they patrolled the area better, alot of the things that go on in Lewiston wouldn't be happening... It happens all over the downtown area and they travel in packs..It has become so bad that nobody dares to go intown for anything because it has become run over by inplants..the names in the police log says it all..

Melissa  Dunn's picture

sorry for damage with that

sorry for damage

with that said what is sad is that people are labeling the 'whole' (i.e. lewiston) based on maybe what one or two (who knows) immature juveniles (can be adult too-acting like children). its the mindset of the people that need to change. just because we are in lewiston does not mean its the dirty lew. people need to start caring... there are resources all around to make better a lewiston place. hm someone wants to get involved and actually make a change is up to them... but i would hope that there are people who out there who are genuine and who live in lewiston who would not stand for this kind of behavior.


The people who did this are scumbags and I hope they are caught...

John Cote's picture

what more then i can say about the DIRTY LEW

it seems to be living up to the dirty lew people have no respect for other people property i sure hope they catch the bastards and throw the book at them

Randall Pond's picture

Police investigate tent vandalism at park

you know this is really Said this happened. What is Lewiston/Auburn coming to? It's gotten way more violence in Lewiston then we've had in Many years. Very Sad this happened.


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