TAFT, Texas — Just days after a local nonprofit displayed the trashing of one of the city’s parks on Facebook, the Taft Police Department said they have their eyes on four suspects in connection to the damage.
Taft Police Chief Ponce Treviño said all four suspects will be facing state jail felony charges of criminal mischief, with the potential of more charges to be added.
Based on images provided by Friends of the Taft City Parks, a city trash can had been dumped over, as well as a picnic table completely flipped over.
Most notable of an eyesore, however, was the use of drywall tape and toilet paper that ravaged through the park, essentially “TPing” the area.
An employee with the city’s public works department pointed out that much of the supplies used came out of a city building nearby that was also broken into. A dumpster on the property was also vandalized with a crude image.
Friends of the Taft City Parks president Anthony Hernandez said he's relieved those in connection to the damage were caught, but added that he doesn't hold any resentment against the juveniles.
"We just hope that these kids can get another opportunity in life later on, down the road If anything" Hernandez said. "We don’t feel any kind of way toward them. If anything, we feel like the amount of effort they put into doing this damage — that effort can be put into somewhere else — those kids could really turn their lives around and get a second chance."
Hidalgo Park has since been cleaned up, with only some remnants of toilet paper on only one of the park's trees.
As for the suspects, Treviño said the four individuals in question will be charged once a judge signs off on those warrants, which could be today or Wednesday, Feb. 4.
"I’m glad they caught them," Hernandez said. "It sends a message that hopefully nobody gets the idea to try and do this again, but at the end of the day, it was all just about the community coming together and just protecting what’s ours and just letting everybody know that we want to take care of what we have."