June 6, 2023
BW News

Legendary 4th St. Playground Court Destroyed By late-Night Vandals

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The Iconic 4th Street Playground - photo courtesy of The MV Inquirer
Photo of 4Th Street Playground courtesy of The MV Inquirer

Mount Vernon– Police are reaching out to the public and even offering an award for information on who destroyed the mated court in the legendary 4th Street playground (between South 7th & 8th Avenues) in an act of late-night vandalism. With all the excitement in the city around the election, BW found out about the incidents after reading an article in the MV Inquirer online. We immediately went down to the court, Friday night to take some pictures, only to find the matted court restored.

It was almost like it had never happened. BW Editor-In-Chief AJ Woodson, a social media consultant, immediately went to social media and posted the pictures on several Mount Vernon Facebook pages, asking for information. Finding it hard to believe from what we saw, we even posed the question was this vandalism an exaggeration from the MV Inquirer or did something in  the city of Mount Vernon actually get repaired in record time. We were pleasantly surprised to find out the latter was in fact the case, when Mount Vernon residents Lynnette Brown and Tony Goncalves, directed us to the Eyewitness News, and Chris J Ribando gave us the link to News 12 in the I Grew Up In Mount Vernon, Facebook Group.

Police vow to catch the culprit(s) and not allow the incident to go unpunished. Mayor Ernest D. Davis also stated he wants to find and prosecute those responsible for an act of late evening vandalism. “This blatant act of vandalism cannot go unpunished. The Mount Vernon Police Department is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person or persons who dared to take the courts away from the community,” said Mayor Ernest D. Davis, told the MV Inquirer.

The basketball court matting installed just before the September 10th Democratic Primary and was part of a rehab for the iconic park that is the city’s premiere basketball facility. The playground has been home to a who’s who in Westchester Basketball including Mount Vernonites, Ben Gordon, Rudy Hackett,  Rodney and Scooter McCray, Lowes Moore,  Earl Tatum, Gus and Ray Williams and too many others to name.

Eyewitness News reports, a car was driven over the matting on the basketball courts.

“It is disappointing someone would destroy the park that has been such a benefit to the community,” said City Council President Marcus Griffith, told the MV Inquirer. “The only people getting hurt are the people who use the courts.”

Mount Vernon used Community Development Block Grant Funding to complete the park rehab. The damage is currently being assessed and taxpayers will ultimately have to foot the bill for repairs, the Inquirer reported.

“I can’t fully understand why anyone would slither out in the wee hours of the night to destroy thousands of dollars put into the park that has been a benefit to the entire community, We must band together to rid the city of these types who maraud and destroy our city.” said Mayor Davis.

Recreation Commissioner Darren M. Morton is encouraging the community to help solve this crime and is encouraging potential witnesses to come forward. “We put a lot of effort into making the park a better facility for basketball a little more than a month ago. Our players will have to go elsewhere until we can get the courts fixed.

While it has taken the City of Mount Vernon a considerably much longer time to repair things that need to in Mount Vernon, we are happy to report, that was not the case here with the iconic playground. This was met with a much-needed and welcomed sense of urgency and as you can see from the pictures below, taken at 9:02pm Friday night, the playground is ready for Mt. Vernon’s future basketball stars to hone nd display their skills like the aforementioned. We would like to say thank you to the City of Mount Vernon and all who participated in the speedy recovery of a park that has meant so much to so many for so long.

MVPD is asking for the community’s help in solving this crime. Anyone with information is asked to call 914-665-2510.​

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