Young vandals cut small hole in LHS's new artificial turf football field

LACONIA — Police have interviewed three teens who they believe vandalized the new high school football field sometime Sunday night.

Capt. Matt Canfield said police were called to Bank of New Hampshire Stadium at 9 a.m. Monday morning by a School District employee.

He said police found that vandals had used what he believed to be a knife to cut out a circular piece of artificial FieldTurf about three or four inches in diameter from near the south-side 20-yard line and took latex caulking and smeared the floors and windows in the new press box.

Canfield also said at least one of the three boys defecated on the 50-yard line.

Police said yesterday that they have interviewed three boys, who were accompanied by a parent during their interviews. He said two of the boys were from Gilford and one is from Meredith.

Because all three are younger than 17-years-old, Canfield said he would not identify them.

"I'm pretty disappointed and it's quite a let down," said City Councilor Bob Hamel who co-chairs the Joint (City Council/School Board) Building Committee overseeing the Huot Regional Technical Education Center/athletic complex project on the high school campus.

"This is pretty degrading and shows the mentality of these kids," said Hamel.

"I think their parents should buy an entire swath of turf," Hamel added. "We paid for a perfect field and now we haven't got a perfect field.

"They actually took a picture of themselves sitting on our goal posts," Hamel said, referring to one of the boy's Facebook page.

He said the company that installed the turf just last week is returning to Laconia to see if the circular hole can be fixed. Hamel said the installation of the field took a total of 110 work hours by employees of the company that installed it. He also said people in the city and the School District worked tirelessly to get the field ready for the ribbon cutting ceremony and home opener Friday night.
"I think those boys should stand in the middle of the field and apologize to the football team and to the citizens of Laconia," said Hamel when asked what he thought the penalty should be for the three boys.

He also said he hopes the boys learn a little something about respect and proper behavior, fix the pain and damage they wrought, and grow up to become productive citizens.