Vandalism closes Pawleys Island park

(Provided by Georgetown County) Vandalism on fields at Stables Park forced county officials to close the facility.

PAWLEYS ISLAND (Press Release) — The Stables Park field complex off Petigru Drive in Pawleys Island is temporarily closed to allow for repair of multipurpose fields damaged late last week in an act of vandalism. A vehicle was driven onto the fields, destroying the grass and possibly damaging the irrigation system.

Estimates on the cost of repairing the fields are still being prepared and will depend largely on the extent of any damage to the irrigation system at the fields. It is uncertain how long the park willneed to be closed, but Georgetown County Parks and Recreation anticipates fall sports, including soccer, will need to be moved to another location for the start of the season to allow for repairs.

“It’s very disappointing that someone would do this,” said Beth Goodale, Parks and Recreation Department director. “This is a facility that sees a lot of use and where a community playground had just been built and opened thanks to the support of residents. Now someone does something like this. It’s pure malice.”

The park, which opened in 2012, had been gated when not in use to prevent this type of vandalism. After the playground wascompleted last month, the county installed fencing around the fields to keep vehicles from driving on the grass and started leaving the park open to thepublic so community members would be able to use and enjoy the playground and a walking trail that runs through the park. A vehicle entered a small gap in the fencing that allows access to the playground on Aug. 13 and drove around on the fields, destroying the grass.

Georgetown County Parks and Recreation and the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office are seeking any information on the incident and who the perpetrator(s) may be. Acts of vandalism to public property aretaken seriously by Georgetown County. If the perpetrator is found, charges will be brought. In past cases, vandals have been caught up to a year after the incident and, in addition to facing charges, were ordered by a judge to payrestitution.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, (843) 546-5101. Anonymous tips can also be sent via text to 274637. Text the word “GCSOTIP” followed by your message. This service is for crime tips only.

The Stables Park tennis facility off Gilman Road is unaffected and remains open.

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