Vandals Again Hit Ooltewah Youth Association Ballfields

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 7/31 6:41 pm
OOLTEWAH, TN (WDEF-TV) - Vandals have once again hit the Ooltewah Youth Association ball fields..and this time the damage will cost thousands of dollars to repair.
Supporters of that popular sports area say its time for some serious security measures.

Whoever set fire to the main building at the ballparks in Ooltewah had probably been there before.
But the scene was a shock to those who came by to see what had happened.

CHESTER BANKSTON, COUNTY COMMISSIONER (IN:08:54) "Well, my first though thoughts ..I can't believe we've got somebody in the community that has no more respect for things that people work hard to get than this."

The concession stand was heavily damaged by in the overnight fire.
It started in a grill.

KENNETH MCELROY, BOARD MEMBER & COACH ( IN:38:28) "This is the 4th time this year that they've tried to break in to this building, ..one time they were successful but they only thing they did was stole a bunch of candy."

CHESTER BANKSTON (IN:10:07) "Well,it ain't been but a couple of weeks ago they broke in again...and Smith Elementary got broke into this past week as well...and damage done there."

Firefighters were on the scene quickly, but the flames had already spread into the ceiling of the 10 year old building...doing an estimated 140-thousand dollars damage.

KENNETH MCELROY (IN: 01:24) "Like now our concession stand is burnt up....we've got fall ball coming up so we're going to have to put porto-lets for them to use the bathroom..just to cover for now..who knows how long it will take to get this fixed."

CHESTER BANKSTON ( IN:10:34) "Well it's a problem that we have in all neighborhoods, it doesn't matter where you live ..you've got thugs out here that don't have respect for nobody or nobody's property...this is the kind of stuff they do..its ridiculous."

Commissioner Bankston says the county will repair the building.
Meanwhile, McElroy says the association has already purchased cameras and from now one there will be a higher level of security.
County authorities are investigating.

Although the ball fields are only a few hundred yards from the Collegedale city hall, it’s county property and not part of nearby Veteran's Park.

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