Deep imprints of tire tracks rip the lawns of homes in a Glenville development called The Return. The ruts lead across one lawn, down across the road and up another where a truck went off-roading early Sunday morning.
The damage happened around 4 a.m., according to residents awakened by the noise.
Police did not know the full extent of the damage until about 7:30 a.m. when the department’s phones were ringing off the hook, according to Police Chief Michael Ranalli.
A man whose vehicle fit the description of the truck at the scene was questioned and charged with a violation possession of marijuana, according to Ranalli. However, police have not tied him to the vandalism. Authorities are still trying to determine the number of lawns that were damaged, but say it is at least 16.
Residents say they’ve heard that number could be as high as 25. Many of the homeowners did file complaints, although several did not, saying that the grass would grow back normally within a few mows.
State Assemblymen Jim Tedisco lives at the end of one of the cul-de-sacs in the neighborhood and just missed having damage done to his lawn. Homes a few doors down had damage, but the truck turned before reaching Tedisco’s property. The damage ranges anywhere from tire imprints on the lawn to deep ruts.
Tedisco said the vandalism was disconcerting. “This is a neighborhood that takes a lot of pride in their houses and in their lawns,” Tedisco said.
He said that although the financial cost to the neighborhood would be collectively high, the most important issue was the safety.
“There are several young families, young children in the neighborhood. What if one of them were out there?” Tedisco said. He also expressed concern for the safety of whoever was driving the vehicle.
Resident Jerry Vien, whose lawn was damaged, said that it was lucky the lawns were fairly dry. If there had been wet soil, the damage could have been much greater.
Tedisco and other residents said that this is the second time in a matter of weeks that there was damage in the neighborhood. The first time someone had driven across the grass near the entrance to The Return.
Vien said that the Glenville police have done an excellent job dealing with the vandalism and that he hopes that punishments will help make sure that it won’t happen again.
“I think that it impacts the sense of well-being that the neighborhood feels,” Tedisco said. “We’ll be looking over our shoulders for a while.”