Colorado Springs police hoping to root out tree vandal

Posted at 6:38 PM, Jun 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-04 20:38:26-04

Colorado Springs police are looking for whoever destroyed dozens of trees at Memorial Park overnight. 

It happened along Union Avenue across from the new peace officers memorial.

Bordering a busy Memorial Park…

"It’s one of the strangest things I’ve seen, it seems senseless," Eric Jackson, a neighbor said.

Covering more than 600 feet of sidewalk….

"That’s the worst damage I’ve ever seen, that sort of really hits you home," Bernard Osborne, a park visitor said.

20 trees slashed in half and left to die sometime on Sunday night.

"I don’t know how they got away with it, it must have been really early in the morning with no traffic around, I mean to cut 20 trees, it’s unbelievable!" Osborne said.

But this, wasn’t the first time.

"Last week, we had six trees that were literally sawed in two and the carcasses, if you will, of the trees were just left there," Dennis Will, the Interim City Forester for Colorado Springs said.

Altogether, the City Forestry Department says it will cost the city nearly $15,000 to replace the trees and clean up the mess. 

"It’s shocking to me as a citizen in a community that someone would vandalize a community asset and it’s just shocking as a human being that someone would be that malicious to begin with, so it’s on a number of different levels, it makes me uncomfortable," Will said.

Leaving behind a trail of damage unlike anything some park visitors have seen before.

"You drive around there and you see every one of those trees all cut in half, all about the same height, all cut with a saw, the man must have had a battery powered saw and come through and just cut them down," Osborne said.

"And then just to leave them there, half cut off and then just leave the trees, you know if you need a tree go get a tree, but it seems there’s no reason for that," Jackson said.

In the meantime, police are keeping a close watch on the area in hopes of stopping this from happening again.

"Someone planted those for a good purpose and now it’s destroyed by one person or persons for no reason so yeah I think it hurts everybody, if you think about it, it’s so unnecessary," Jackson said.

The city says the earliest they could get these trees replaced would be closer to October or November this fall.

Colorado Springs police say whoever is responsible for damage could face criminal mischief felony charges.