Frustrations are mounting for a local Buda family as rampant acts of vandalism have plagued a memorial skatepark meant to honor their late son.
Over the last six months, authorities have seen an increase in the rate of vandalism at the Jackson Tyler Norris Skatepark, said David Marino, Buda Public Information officer, in a press release.
The extent of the vandalism includes severe restroom vandalism, paint tagging containing derogatory words, fence vandalism, vandalism to the maintenance closet and electric panel and saplings being uprooted.
Rebecca Norris, mother of Jackson Tyler Norris seeing vandalism at her son’s memorial is one of shock and grief.
Jackson was killed while riding on a skateboard in Lockhart in June 2011. Buda city officials opened the JTN skatepark in 2014 to honor Rebecca’s son.
“This is old news for some people but this is everyday for us and it’s just not okay,” Norris said. “This is his memorial, it’s just like defacing his gravesite, it’s so incredibly disrespectful,” Norris said.
Buda Police Chief Bo Kidd said the vandalism is “shameful” and that while vandalism is criminal in nature, this kind of vandalism to a memorial is “disheartening.”
“It is really shameful what has been going on there,” Kidd said.
Although the department is utilizing its already stretched resources, stopping vandalism at the skatepark remains a priority for Buda police officers.
“We have areas that are high crime or problem areas that will get a little more attention that we call ‘close patrol,’” Kidd said.
Kidd said the city, along with the police department, are discussing other remedies to halt the desecration of the memorial. Ideas have included extra fencing and possibly security cameras that might aide in deterring further vandalism at the skate park.
“We will definitely be spending more time and more attention on this,” Kidd said.
Kidd said encourages Buda residents to stay vigilant and to report any suspicious activity.
“We always welcome the eyes and ears of the citizens and we would ask for help from the community in identifying these people that are doing this,” Kidd said.
Norris said she and her family would appreciate any assistance from the community in putting a stop to the vandalism. She encourages anyone in Buda who thinks they may have seen something or someone suspicious to call the police and report it.
“I just know that someone knows something about who is doing this and I would appreciate that if anyone see’s something suspicious to call the police so they can investigate,” Norris said.