Vandalism a problem in East Williston

Elliot Weld
East Williston Mayor Bonnie Parente said vandalism has occurred near village hall in the last few months. (Photo courtesy of Bonnie Parente)

East Williston Mayor Bonnie Parente said Thursday that vandalism and large groups of teenagers congregating in the area of Devlin Field and Village Hall have become a problem since the spring, but the village staff and county police are working to deter them.

Nassau County Police confirmed that 13 calls for criminal mischief had occurred in the vicinity this year. Criminal mischief is a charge given for vandalism such as graffiti or breaking other people’s property. Police said more vandalism may have occurred but not been reported.

Parente said around 30 to 50 teenage children hang out in the area at times, many of whom are not wearing masks or keeping six feet of distance as the pandemic rages throughout the country.

Parente said the teens have hoped fences into fenced-off property, used spray paint at a number of locations and on several occasions gotten into fistfights.

Police said a convenience store, a parked car and a bank had been vandalized, among other places.

Devlin Field has been the site of several vandalism incidents.

Parente said the fence at the baseball field was spray-painted at one point. The teenagers responsible were caught on a security camera, their parents were notified and the children made “restitution.”

Another group of teenagers, eighth and ninth-graders, spray-painted the scoreboard at the baseball field. It was cleaned up by other children and their parents and the vandals were caught when they returned hours later. Parente said none of the children in these two incidents live in East Williston.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police has become involved with the vandalism as well, since some incidents have been near the train tracks across from East Williston Village Hall, according to Parente.

Parente said officers at the Nassau County Police Third Precinct have been “extremely diligent” and that “the camera system has been doing wonders” when dealing with the vandalism.

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Elliot Weld

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