A group of teenagers descended upon Highland Park Elementary and destroyed the playground area, late Thursday evening.
On July 15, 2021 at around 8:15 p.m., the Ridge Meadows RCMP received a report of 20-35 teenagers at the Highland Park Elementary playground reportedly destroying property. The police responded to the call and attended the area to find a lot of damage done to the playground. According to the RCMP, the school district was immediately notified because of the damage.
A local, Joshua Kleskovic, put up photos of some of the damage and informed the community of the event on a local Facebook group. When talking to The News, Kleskovic said that this was not a standalone incident but has been an ongoing issue with the teens in the area “drinking and driving, and being disruptive most weekends in the school grounds at Highland Park Elementary.”
“About roughly 30 teens broke-into the playground and managed to climb the roof of the school and broke things up there as well. They also stole someone’s patio metal bench and put it on top of the playground as well,” he said.
He also described what they had done to the place with broken beer bottles everywhere, smashed up ironing board torn into pieces. They were beginning to get aggressive towards some of the neighbours who went over there and called the police in on them, he said.
According to Kleskovic, after the police showed up, the teens slowly started dispersing, after about an hour of the cop car’s arrival.
Senior communications manager with School District 42, Irena Pochop said, “The vandalism affected a portable metal bench, which we have removed. Additionally, a spiral climbing mechanism was broken off the playground equipment, and there was some minor damage to the skylight. We have removed the spiral climbing mechanism and are investigating to see if it can be repaired.”
In the meantime, the school district has boarded off that side of the playground platform.
“The vandalism is obviously very disappointing. Although school is out for the summer, we know that the playground is also used by children in the Pitt Meadows community, so any damage to it has an impact well beyond the school itself,” Pochop said.
The Ridge Meadows RCMP said that the incident was under investigation and no arrests had been made by Friday afternoon.
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