Vandals in a raised truck crashed through the chain link fence at the Hart Pony baseball field early Sunday morning and proceeded to churn up sod in the outfield, breaking sprinklers, destroyed turf and, quite possibly, disappointing young baseball players who could now be benched due to cancelled games.
What the vandals perhaps didn’t know, however, was that officials with the William S. Hart Pony Baseball & Softball League installed field cameras for the purpose of broadcasting games this season. Those cameras captured the entire joyride in center field.
At about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, the suspect drove recklessly through the outfield while the sprinklers were on, breaking sprinkler heads and churning up clogs of turf. Damage was done to Colt Field at the Hart Pony baseball complex at the west end of Auto Center Drive.
The recorded footage of the vandalism was shared with and studied by Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station detectives on Monday.
“I was disgusted,” Pony League President Bob Sherwood told The Signal Tuesday. Sherwood surveyed the damage to center and right field.
“It’s horrible. Everybody is really upset over this,” he said. “We’re shocked that somebody could break into where kids play baseball and do this.”
Asked if any games would be cancelled because of the incident, Sherwood said he hopes not, adding “We’ve got our fingers crossed.”
The season begins in a couple of weeks for older baseball players scheduled to play at Colt Field.
“We don’t know if we’re going to have to re-sod or re-seed, but it’s going to take a few thousand dollars to repair,” the park’s Facility Manager told The Signal.
“They tore up the whole outfield,” he said.
“Right now, we’re working with the (SCV) Sheriff’s Station,” he said, noting that the vandalism was recorded by video cameras installed recently to televise games this season.
“We just put them in a few months back so that grandparents who can’t come to the game can watch it,” he said.
Deputies checked out the damage on Monday, Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station told The Signal Tuesday.
“They found it (field) to be destroyed by vandals,” she said. “Their primary investigation is looking at the field being ripped up by a vehicle doing doughnuts on the grass.”
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt