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Heber police charge six minors in skate park vandalism

Wasatch County Parks and Recreation closed the skate park in response to vandalism.
Heber City Police Department
Wasatch County Parks and Recreation closed the skate park in response to vandalism.

Heber City Police say six young people are headed to juvenile court after vandals caused thousands of dollars of damage at the local skate park.

Police have charged six young people, ranging in age from 11 to 15, after a Southfield Park restroom was vandalized.

Heber City Police Sgt. Josh Weishar said officers identified the juveniles from videos the minors recorded while defacing the park.

“They recorded themselves lighting off fireworks and breaking things,” he said. “All of them were charged with either arson or criminal mischief… and they’re all juveniles.”

A 14-year-old and three 15-year-olds were charged with arson, accused of lighting fireworks inside a restroom at the park and burning toilet paper. Weishar said officers are still looking for one more person involved in that case.

And an 11-year-old and a 12-year-old were charged with criminal mischief for allegedly breaking a sink and ripping the drain out of the wall.

All six minors are being referred to juvenile court, which will determine the consequences if they’re found guilty.

“It could be anywhere from, realistically, some sort of time in juvenile detention or all the way down to some community service and fines,” Weishar said. “That just depends on what the juvenile court wants to do with it.”

He said these charges are for the most recent reports of vandalism at the park. But Heber police have responded to other incidents this spring, including fights involving older teens.

“We tend to have issues there at the skate park and get called there just because it’s a gathering point,” he said. “And sometimes people don’t get along and they break things.”

He said closing the park prompted the public to identify the culprits. Now, it’s up to the county parks department to determine when and how to reopen the skate park.

Wasatch County Parks and Recreation assistant director Heath Coleman estimates the vandalism has cost about $75,000 to repair over the last year and a half, including labor costs.

The department will hold a community meeting Wednesday, May 1, to discuss the recent vandalism and address residents’ concerns. It begins at 7 p.m. in the recreation center.

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