City police are investigating damage found Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Park in Lake Charles. Authorities said is was either a criminal act or a force of nature, which would mean lightning. (Michelle Higginbotham / American Press)
Someone has vandalized the area around Veteran' Memorial Park with paint. (Michelle Higginbotham / American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 2:38 PM
Recently discovered damage at Veterans Memorial Park — including splattered paint and broken bricks — is likely a combination of vandalism and an act of nature, city officials said.
The bricks in the World War II section of the memorial were marred by paint, and glass in the nearby helicopter was broken.
Police Sgt. Shawn Caldwell said both cases are being investigated as acts of property damage.
But Caldwell and Scott Raymond, the city’s communications manager and liaison to the Mayor’s Armed Forces Commission, said the remaining damage — a pulverized section of bricks near the flagpole — was probably caused by lightning.
“It was explained to us that lightning could have jumped from the pole to the bricks, causing them to break and be cast about,” Caldwell said. “That’s what we believe happened with the actual brick damage.”
Raymond said that when he arrived at the park to inspect the damage, a “concerned resident” told him that when he was at the park Monday night the damage was not there.
“If what this person said is true, then I would assume it happened within the past 18-24 hours of us being called,” he said.
Raymond said the investigation is a “partnership with the public.”
“We want to find out what happened so we can get to the bottom of this as quickly and completely as possible,” he said.
Anyone with information on the vandalism can call police at 491-1311.