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Police identify Hastings soccer field vandals, city says

Police identify Hastings soccer field vandals, city says Photo: City of Hastings

March 27, 2019 05:00 PM

Two people suspected of causing significant damage to soccer fields in Hastings have been identified.

Hastings Police said criminal charges against the two adult men are expected to be filed in the coming days.

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The men are accused of driving onto the fields and spinning "doughnuts," damaging the fields on Sunday, March 24.

Hastings Parks and Recreation discovered the damage on Monday and reported it to police.

The city says approximately 200,000 square feet of damage was caused to the athletic turf and other areas, including three of the most heavily used soccer fields at the complex. Some of the ruts were 8 to 10 inches deep, the city said, and a variety of options are being considered to restore the fields.

"Vandalism and damage at any facility is discouraging; willful damage to this degree is both frustrating and disheartening," Parks & Rec Director Chris Jenkins said in a news release. "These fields are a place where our community's youth are learning a sport, developing skills, building and maintaining fitness, building friendships, learning responsibility and more. This damage will be corrected, and play will resume, but it will require a lot of effort and expense to get there."

The city says the Hastings Futbol Club, a local youth soccer organization with 580 youth and 125 games scheduled at Vets Park, will be most affected, but staff remains in close communication with the club.

The city has already begun the process of filing an insurance claim for the vandalism, it said.

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