Park damage

Vandals broke the sink and ripped the paper towel dispenser from the wall of the Veterans Park Bathroom, which had been open less than a month.

TUPELO • City officials are searching for those responsible for tearing up the new bathrooms at Veterans Park over the weekend.

Parks & Recreation director Alex Farned said someone broke the sink and ripped the paper towel dispenser off the wall. The bathroom near the Vietnam Memorial had been open for less than a month.

"We finally got rid of the port-a-potties we had for four years and had something nice that is air conditioned and heated," Farned said. "It's sad to see something like this happen. It just leaves you scratching your head, asking why?"

Farned said the cost of replacing the sink and repairing the damage would be less than $500. That would make the crime fall under misdemeanor malicious mischief. If the person responsible is caught, they could face up to a $1,000 fine and/or up to 12 months in the county jail. They would have to pay restitution.

The bathrooms open at 5 a.m. to allow early morning walkers to use them. They close at 10 p.m. The doors have automatic locks on timers. There is a push bar on the inside of the door so anyone inside after the door locks can still get out.

"We had someone go into the bathroom Saturday afternoon and it was still fine," Farned said. "So the damage had to happen Saturday night or sometime Sunday. We discovered it Monday morning."

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call the Tupelo Police Department at 841-6491 or Crime Stoppers of Northeast Mississippi at (800) 773-TIPS.

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