Vandals target park for athletes with special needs

Some of the graffiti appeared to be gang-related and there was at least one racial slur.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — The Douglas County community is coming together to fight back against vandals who targeted a popular park.

Channel 2 Action News has learned vandals spray-painted benches and different places in Beulah Ruritan Park on McKown Road in Douglasville.

Some of the graffiti appeared to be gang-related and included at least one racial slur.

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The park is where many athletes with special needs play baseball.

Philip Troglin has been coaching the Douglas County Challengers for 20 years.

"It's not your typical baseball game that most people are accustomed to watching," he explained.

Every kid plays and every child scores. The first game of 2019 is a month away, but the vandalism poses a serious problem.

"We're gonna have to find a way to get this cleaned up before the season starts," he said.


Troglin told Channel 2's Berndt Petersen some time over the last couple of weeks, the vandals soiled the place with foul language, racial slurs and an anti-God message.

"It's really bad what they did. And I don't like it. I really don't," said Michelle Morgan whose son, Mitchell, plays on the team.

Mitchell has played there for three years and Morgan doesn't want any of his team-mates to see the graffiti.

"Special needs children already have enough to endure. But to have to endure something like this, also? It's wrong," Morgan said.

Troglin did not call the sheriff when he discovered the vandalism. He took to Facebook to show what happened.

He couldn't believe the response. Offers to supply the brushes, the buckets, the paint and the painter came pouring in to get the field ready for opening day.

A cleanup day is set for Saturday, March 23.

Volunteers are asked to bring a paint brush.