JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The San Jose Athletic Association Board is not pressing charges against two teens who were caught on camera vandalizing a clubhouse in Baker Skinner Park.
News4JAX obtained a video Tuesday that appeared to show two young teens using golf clubs to vandalize the clubhouse, causing damage to a wall, security lights, security cameras and a gas grill -- which happened just two weeks before the start of baseball season.
Immediately, parents and coaches started an outpour of frustration after seeing the video.
Nathan Groff, baseball coach and Association board member, told New4JAX the reason board members choose not to press charges is because they didn’t want to ruin the teens’ lives.
The teens’ parents identified them after the video started to circulate among parents and coaches.
“Two different gentlemen reached out to the park and association and indicated and believed it was their sons on the video,” Groff said.
The men also told Groff that the teens admitted to what they did and that they were extremely apologetic -- especially since the fathers believed the boys didn’t have a real reason for causing the damage.
“From what they told us, they were up there. They were bored. They just decided it would be fun if they smashed a few things,” Groff said.
Groff also said the parents agreed to pay for the damages, which led the association to drop the idea of pressing charges.
“We didn’t feel like prosecuting two young men that obviously felt sorry for what they did. We’re compensating the part for the damage that could impact the rest of their life for some thoughtless act would not be appropriate,” Groff said.
Groff said the teens have volunteered to return to the park and help out on the next clean-up day, which includes picking up trash, cleaning up weeds and general maintenance.
“Hopefully they go on and tell other kids to maybe think about doing that and explain to them that it’s not worth it and to do other constructive things instead of destructive things,” Groff said.