Soccer field

The football field of the new American school Our Savior in Centereach has been repeatedly vandalized, with damage totaling $ 38,000

CENTEREACH, Long Island (WABC) – A football field at a school on Long Island has been repeatedly vandalized since December, with damage now totaling more than $ 38,000.

Suffolk County Police are now offering a cash reward for information leading to an arrest.

Authorities say an unknown person or group knocked over several light poles at the Our Savior New American School football stadium, located on Hawkins Road in Centereach, during the night between December 16 and December 17, 2020.

Police have since been called to the scene on at least two occasions, including on May 3 and 9, for damage to lighting fixtures, signage and the sprinkler system.

“We are not just going to give up on the road that God has traveled,” said Reverend Ronald Stelzer of Our Savior Church.

He says they are trying to put cameras on and are grateful the police are involved.

“We have no knowledge of people who necessarily hate us or seek to have us,” he said. “I don’t know who did it, why they did it. I don’t want to read the minds of people I don’t know.”

“Whoever does this is only evil. It is evil,” said John Reade, former head of the Our Savior Lutheran Church.

Reade said that the vandals once used a large tool to dig holes all over the soccer field, possibly with the intention of causing children to injure themselves while playing soccer. Reade said they must immediately plug the holes.

Reade said they had to pay to have the field irrigation system replaced, which was destroyed on Sunday.

“So that the grass does not burn now that summer is coming,” he said.

In total, the vandals knocked down 20 parking lights, each costing $ 2,500 to replace. They spray painted graffiti on a shed, walls and a sign. Some of the graffiti was so graphic it needed to be repainted immediately. They also stole a lawn mower.

“They broke water pipes and turned on the water to flood the fields,” Stelzer said.

The investigation is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information on these incidents can contact Suffolk County Crime Stoppers to submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-800-220-TIPS.

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