Shawn Lutgen and his son, Parker, love to skateboard. So when they heard Arlington recently opened a brand-new, $1 million skate park at Vandergriff Park, they decided it would be worth the drive from their home in Granbury to check it out.
“It’s smooth,” said Parker Lutgen. “It’s fast. It has lots of good runs in it.”
They said it’s one of the nicer skate parks they’ve been to, which is why they were shocked when they pulled up to it Monday morning and saw it covered in graffiti.
“The people that did this, they’re probably not skaters,” said Shawn Lutgen. “You know, it’s sad.”
Late Sunday or early Monday, vandals went into the skate park and spray painted more than a dozen pictures and phrases, such as “Life sucks, then you die” and “Why not hugs and drugs?" all over the bowls and ramps there.
City officials are still trying to determine the total damage to the facility, but said it’s already clear this won’t be an easy fix.
Because the skate park has special surfaces, crews will have to take their time removing the graffiti so as not to cause further damage. Officials said the park will be closed and fenced off for at least two weeks for cleanup.
“It’s really disgusting,” said Lemuel Randolph, Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Arlington. “And it’s disgusting primarily from the standpoint we’re taking an asset away from our citizens because of the acts of a few.”
The Lutgens got a few rides in before staff members shut down the park Monday afternoon. They said it’s too bad it will be a while before they can come back.
Randolph said the skate park does not currently have surveillance cameras, but that may be something they discuss when they look at ways to prevent this from happening in the future.
If you have any information about this crime, you’re urged to call the Arlington Police Department.