Vandals strike clubhouse in San Jose park fueling frustration among coaches & parents

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Photo shows damage left behind at Baker Skinner Park.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Baseball coaches, parents of student athletes and leaders of the San Jose Athletic Association are frustrated after learning a clubhouse in Baker Skinner Park was vandalized.

Video obtained by News4JAX appears two show two young people using golf clubs to vandalize the the clubhouse. It happened just two weeks before the start of baseball season.

(Based on the apparent ages of those captured in the video — and due to no injuries being reported, News4JAX has blurred their faces. Note: News4JAX typically will not identify anyone by name who is accused of a misdemeanor crime.)

There was damage to a wall, security lights, security cameras and a gas grill.

“It’s one more thing our volunteer organization must deal with,” explained Nathan Groff, a baseball coach and Association board member. “We’ll deal with it, but we’re trying to get ready for baseball for the kids and not fix things that vandals come in and destroy.”

Groff said he was only able to view the video recording and take screenshots, but not download it because of a technical problem. He said things worsened when the video automatically deleted.

He’s pleading with the young people who caused this damage to think about the impact of their actions.

“It may look fun at the time that you are breaking and destroying things you don’t have to deal with, taking golf clubs and smashing security cameras and concrete — that may seem fun, but now other people have to clean it up. Other families are impacted by it,” Groff said.

Association parents and even older baseball players who use the facilities to practice were upset after learning what happened when we showed them pictures.

“It’s a park for little kids and for other kids to do that is disappointing,” said Gabe Gonzalez, a Boles baseball player.

“It’s a shame they would come out here to a place where families spend their time and let out their aggression,” said parent Carl Martin.

“Kids are bored and don’t have anything to do,” said parent Reggie Ansley. “It’s pretty brazen. Looks like it was done during the day. So that’s really bold.”

The Association president says the non-blurred images of the kids were sent to schools in the area to see if school staff recognize those responsible.

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