Harpersfield Metropark vandal confesses

WARREN DILLAWAY | Star Beacon Grass areas of Harpersfield Metropark were damaged by vehicles in the last several days.

HARPERSFIELD — A suspect has been apprehended after a Metropark was vandalized last weekend.

Damage was reported to the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office last week. Deep tire ruts were carved into the grass on both the north and south sides of the park.

A suspect had confessed to driving recklessly across the grass in the Harpersfield Covered Bridge Metropark, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

“There’s going to be charges and they’re going to have to make restitution,” Sheriff William Johnson said.

A private citizen provided the Sheriff’s Office with a name of a suspect, Lt. Brian Cumberledge said. Officers followed up on the name and the suspect confessed.

“He was very cooperative. He admitted to his role in it. He Basically had no real reason as to why, other than just he was out with some friends and he was easily influenced,” Cumberledge said.

The accused vandal will help repair the damage, Cumberledge said.

The suspect was given a summons instead of being arrested because he was cooperative, Cumberledge said.

“I told him, I said listen ‘nobody’s wanting you to do any jail time. You didn’t kill anybody. You made a stupid mistake, basically. And, you know, I think everyone’s simply favorable of you A, learning a lesson, and B, more importantly, bringing the park back to what it was,’” Cumberledge said.

The Harpersfield Covered Bridge Metropark is the oldest park in Ashtabula County’s Metropark system, according to the Metroparks’ website. Earlier this year, new amenities were installed at the park, including a trail, and a playground. A ribbon-cutting for the new amenities was in September.


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