Vandals Destroy New Queens Playground

Officials said someone plowed a stolen excavator through the playground, which was slated to open this summer.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Parents and community leaders are upset after vandals plowed a construction excavator through a new Far Rockaway playground that was set to open this summer. (Published Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012)

    Parents are heartbroken and community leaders are baffled after vandals destroyed a new playground in Queens that was set to open this summer.

    Officials said someone apparently figured out how to operate a construction excavator and plowed through the Far Rockaway playground early Tuesday, leaving behind piles of mangled equipment and twisted slides.

    Community board district manager Jonathan Gaska said he was furious.

    "They just wrecked most of the playground," he said. "Pretty much every piece of equipment was damaged. So you almost have to replace almost everything."

    The playground near the Rockaway Beach boardwalk was slated to open this summer, but after $100,000 worth of damage, the project is now in jeopardy.

    "We were looking forward to coming to this park this summer," said a local parent who only gave her first name, Marie. "We’d drive by it, pass the school and see the swing up. We were anxious for it to open."

    "It’s hurting the community, hurting the people who live here and the people who come to visit," she added.

    Construction crews spent much of the day repairing the fence.

    Police are investigating.

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