NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. — Police are investigating after three vandals broke into Fletcher High School’s athletic field last week and took two mowers for a joy ride.
“Vandals broke into the equipment shed, took the two mowers that he had in there, raced them around the field, dug ruts in the field, tore the tires off, tore the wiring off, tore the gas lines off. Just destroyed them. Jumped up and down the decks, ruined the decks. Damaged the scoreboard,” Angie’s Subs owner Ed Malin said.
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A friend of Malin’s maintains the grounds at Fletcher Field on his own time and dime.
“They did quite a bit of damage out there,” Malin added. “He was devastated.”
A police report detailed damage to the storage room inside the garage, which had been left unsecured. The report also mentioned spray-painted expletives, damage to both lawn mowers, the field and a chain link fence.
The report says two witnesses who live nearby told police they heard several suspects riding lawn mowers around 2:00 a.m. on Friday, saying they sounded like juveniles.
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“Hopefully it weighs heavy on their heart and they question themselves before they do something like this again,” Malin said.
Malin rallied the Beaches community and managed to raise over $19,000 dollars within six hours. He even had to close the GoFundMe because the money kept pouring in — more than what was needed to repair the damage.
“This thing is kind of snowballing a little bit and a bad situation is quickly becoming a good thing for the community,” he said.
Malin says Fletcher High School has served the Beaches community for a long time, and he wanted to give something back in return.
Malin says a local hardware store plans to donate a new equipment shed to the school.
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