Somebody who knows how to drive a bulldozer did thousands of dollars worth of damage to equipment at Benjamin Rush State Park in late January.
An excavator and a dump truck that were being used by contractors who are upgrading the park were damaged, said Eric Ihlein, park manager. He said windows were kicked out of the vehicles and that somebody with the skill to start and operate the bulldozer went on a joy ride around the park, Ihlein said.
A large container and other property owned by the Northeast Philadelphia Radio Control Club were heavily damaged, Ihlein said.
Police put the cost of the damage between $5,000 and $10,000.
“Most of our support facilities were destroyed,” said Angelo Tata, the model plane club president.
“The shipping container was ripped open like a sardine can and our shed and porta-potty building along with tables and fences were destroyed. We have to rebuild totally,” he wrote in an e-mail to the Northeast Times.
Police said the vandalism occurred sometime between Friday, Jan. 25, and Monday morning, Jan. 28. Ihlein said whoever is responsible for the January damage had to have some experience with construction equipment.
“Somebody had to know how to drive this piece of equipment,” he said.
Heavy equipment has been on the Southampton and the Boulevard property since November to clear land for long-planned upgrades to Rush, the city’s only state park. The state is spending $2.4 million to improve the park by adding biking and hiking trails, water and sewer systems, a comfort station, a parking lot and a new entrance on Southampton Road. ••