May 28, 2014 9:10 PM
Parks around Redding are being paid an unfriendly visit by an unknown group of people, vandalizing concrete benches, garbage cans and tables along the Sacramento River Trail.
One concerned citizen is fed up with the crimes, he’s taking matters into his own hands.
“…this is a nice area…people move here, people have lived here for years and they want it to remain nice…they don’t want it to turn into Oakland, California…”
Rick Aquila is fed up with vandals tagging and tipping over park property.
Redding city park officials say the park was most recently hit sometime Saturday night.
The vandalism spanned from the river trail at Caldwell Park all the way to the Sundial Bridge.
“Since I’ve been working for the parks department, I’d say I’ve dealt with this problem 6 to 8 times at least…”
Aquila says he’s seen vandals in action so often, he’s now taking matters into his own hands.
He chases or yells at the vandals, hoping to scare them away.
“You can call it vigilantism if you want, I don’t know…but whatever works…the police can’t do everything.”
City park employees spend part of yesterday putting the concrete fixtures back in place.
“My coworker Ryan Miller and I…we had a John Deer tractor and straps and chains to make upright the tables…it took us over 2 hours to do 6 to 7 tables and a garbage bin…”
Last year, the city of Redding had the California Department of Transportation set up security cameras along the trail, after a series of graffiti attacks – but city employees say that’s not the point – the reason why these benches are so heavy is to prevent them from being tipped over in the first place.
“We’d like for residents to respond to problems and to call us and let us know right away…because we’re not always in that area…”
Meza says his department is planning to attach concrete slabs below the benches…making it virtually impossible to tip them over.
Whatever it takes to stop vandalism on the trail.
“I’ve run into some of these people…they’re not with gangs…they’re little punks and you don’t have to be afraid of them.”
9 hours ago