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Scappoose boys vandalize veterans memorial

When Tom Ford, commander of the Scappoose chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars, discovered a veterans memorial in his city had been damaged, he took action immediately.

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - A bench in a veterans memorial at Heritage Park remains damaged after vandals broke a portion of the bench. Police determined it was two middle school students who damaged the area.Ford recently discovered one of a handful of benches in the veterans memorial display at Heritage Park had been broken, with a large chunk of concrete laying on the ground. The bench, which is adorned with a dedication plaque, was donated to the park by the family of a fallen armed services member, Ford said.

He contacted the Scappoose Police Department.

Officer Shaun Barrett and School Resource Officer Phil Packineau reviewed surveillance camera footage from the adjacent Scappoose Public Library, which showed two young boys using the concrete chip from the bench to scrawl words on the ground near the broken bench.

Packineau helped identify the boys in the footage, according to the police department.

Ford said he was more interested in confronting the boys and repairing the

damage than pressing charges.

“It looks like it was two boys, a couple of middle school kids,” Ford said by phone Friday. “Unsuperivsed, they had nothing better to do.”

The parents of both kids agreed to pay for a new bench, which will cost at least $200, Ford estimates.

“I’m gonna make it a point to get the mothers to bring the boys down there,” Ford said. I’m gonna speak to them on site at some point.”

The park memorial is slated to get additional statues in time for a Memorial Day ceremony on May 30.