Northeast Times

Rush Park vandalism will cost thousands to remedy damage

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. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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