Austintown vandals aim at houses, 911 park

By Elise Franco

Obscenities were written in the park chapel’s guest book.

AUSTINTOWN — Several vandalism incidents in the township have raised concerns with trustees and residents.

During the night of May 5, 21 homes and vehicles in the College Park neighborhood were spray- painted with vulgarities.

Trustee Chairwoman Lisa Oles said she drove through the neighborhood shortly after the vandalism took place.

“It’s so disheartening to see someone destroy another person’s property,” she said during Monday night’s trustees meeting. “The township won‘t tolerate this.”

Police Chief Bob Gavalier said the department is interviewing “people of interest.”

“By the end of the week, we should have something more on this,” he said.

The 911 Memorial Park, across from Austintown Middle School on Raccoon Road, has also been the target of vandalism in recent months.

Sam Swoger, park committee member, said the vandalism began about four months ago when the chapel door was broken.

Since then, two other incidents have taken place, the most recent over the weekend, he said.

“Everything that’s been done has been done to the chapel,” he said.

Swoger said the person or people involved have trampled flowers, placed a shopping cart covered in Silly String inside and written obscenities in the chapel’s guest book.

“It’s too emotional,” he said. “A lot of work went into that park and what it stands for.”

Gavalier and Oles both said the department is working to solve the cases and anyone with information should contact the Austintown Police Department at (330) 799-9721.

“In College Park, there were absolutely too many homes vandalized for someone not to have seen something,” Oles said. “Please call the police department.”

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