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McGolrick Park Hit With Vandalism Wave

By Meredith Hoffman | September 11, 2012 1:41pm

GREENPOINT — Vandalism struck McGolrick Park twice last week, with the destruction of park furniture and the theft of a metal sewer cap scarring the neighborhood refuge, officials said.

"The benches were vandalized…and someone stole the metal sewer cap," said the 94th Precinct's commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Terence Hurson, who noted the crimes occurred on two separate nights. "I don't think the two incidents are related."

Hurson said the furniture destruction was likely linked to "kids who hang out there at night" and that the sewer cap was probably stolen to sell as scrap metal.

"It happens from time to time…but hasn’t in a while," he said of McGolrick Park's vandalism. "It's unfortunate but we'll see what we can do."

A Parks Department spokeswoman said the agency planned to replace benches and picnic tables, after both were vandalized.

"New picnic tables and benches are being ordered for McGolrick Park, and the drain cover has been replaced," the spokeswoman said.

For local park regulars, the wave of late-night mayhem was a disheartening blemish in their natural haven.

"We have this little jewel in the middle of nothing green and can't maintain it," said Monica Olsson, who walked her dog Kiki past the dog run Tuesday. Olsson said she'd noticed more issues with the park since the summer, including mounting garbage on the ground and signs of fires in trash cans.

"It's sad," she said of the litter and recent thefts. "This is a public park for everybody."

And for Stella Voigt, 60, for whom the "majestic" trees of McGolrick have become her "mini Central Park," the destruction was painful to acknowledge.

"It's a horrible thing to do," she said beneath a leafy canopy of branches Tuesday, and speculated that the vandalism could be linked to "more kids here late at night with the transition to fall."

But after 25 years owning a house a few blocks away, she said the park had become dramatically safer and more pristine since the "hippie era."

"I just love this park…when I come here I feel the spirit of my parents," she said, reminiscing on an intact bench. "I grew up in this neighborhood…and there have been vast improvements."