Four teens face criminal charges after allegedly vandalizing the Madison County Recreation Department.
According to a report from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, the damage included: lower shelter light bulbs broken, batting cage braces bent over, football water fountain broken, blinds in upper concession stand torn up, profanity scratched into upper men’s room, field tarp, sand bags and bases vandalized. A Coke machine lock was broken off. The handle of the frost proof spigot at the picnic table was broken. Tennis nets were broken and a Power Aid machine was broken.
According to recreation maintenance director Grady Autry, the estimated damages are $10,000 to $12,000.
Brian Cody Pierce, 19, Danielsville, and Christopher Scotty Moore, 18, Danielsville, were both charged with criminal interference with government property, criminal damage to property in the second degree and theft by taking.
Three juveniles were also reportedly involved in the incident. Two of the juveniles received the same charges as Pierce and Moore, with complaints filled out and filed with the Department of Juvenile Justice.
According to the incident report, officer William Elrod was called to the recreation department at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. He observed two white males sleeping on picnic tables by the tennis courts. After being woken, both males said they had only been at the recreation department for about 20 minutes and decided to take a nap.
When questioned about the vandalism, both teens said other teen males unknown to them had been there earlier and left down Hwy. 98 toward Danielsville. Elrod asked for IDs from the two. One was a juvenile and the other was Pierce.
Elrod said Pierce was uncooperative. The mother of the juvenile was called to meet with officers. The juvenile said Pierce and Moore had broken into a Coke machine and broke lights out of the lower shelter, along with pulling braces out of batting cages.
The juvenile admitted to being there but denied taking part in any crime. He also named two other juveniles that were involved in the incident. The officer said the mother of the juvenile seemed unaware that her son had left the residence the night before. Moore is also her stepson and Elrod said she was also unaware that he left the residence.
Officers then visited Moore at his residence and placed him under arrest. They visited the other two juveniles involved in the incident and both admitted to taking part in the vandalism.
Recreation department director Robin Pendleton, whose department is gearing up to host a state softball tournament, voiced frustration with the incident Tuesday. She said the taxpayer-funded facility is a great place for kids and adults, but vandalism damages lead to repair work instead of improvements.
“The fact that this gets done is disheartening,” she said.