WEST SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Vandals destroyed a Lackawanna County athletic fieldhouse and now a group of volunteers hopes to pick up the pieces before the next baseball season.
The damage is shocking. Broken glass covered the floor of the West Scranton Field House after vandals shattered the windows and destroyed everything inside.
“Windows smashed, walls smashed, the speaker system destroyed…It’s just flipped upside down,” West Scranton Little League vice president Bryan Wallace said.
It happened late New Year’s Eve. Wallace says he got a call from dispatchers just before 10:30 p.m.
“They said that the police were on site, there was vandalism to our facility and if I was able to come down and take a look at it,” Wallace said.
Vandals forced their way into the Battaglia Fieldhouse press box and trashed it. They yanked lights from the ceiling, ripped doors off their hinges, destroyed furniture, splattered red paint on the walls and threw scoreboard equipment out the window.
They also left behind cans of beer and Twisted Tea. The two alleged vandals were arrested that night.
“It’s a shame because we’re a volunteer organization and we try to do the best we can for the youth of West Scranton and for two individuals to take it upon themselves and do destruction like this…It’s sad, it really is,” Wallace said.
The field is used by West Scranton High School, Little League, Teener League, and the Babe Ruth Program, more than 500 kids every season. Wallace says the community has been supportive, and he’s determined to rebuild before baseball starts in the spring.
“We’re going to talk to the insurance, see how much they can help us with and rebuild and build back better than before because I’m not going to let this happen and take away from our youth sports here,” Wallace said.
Charging documents for the two men arrested have not been filed yet. Wallace says he hopes they learn a lesson.