A melted plastic object, left, and a torn down hand sanitizer dispenser are seen in third base dugout Tuesday at the Hall-Dale Little League field in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

HALLOWELL — Sometime between Saturday and Sunday, vandals tipped over portable toilets, broke hand sanitizer dispensers and attempted to start a fire in a dugout at the Hall-Dale Little League field.

Hallowell Police Chief Scott MacMaster said a vandal “wreaked a little bit of havoc” at the field, describing what officers found when they went to the Smith Road property at 1:45 p.m. Sunday, resulting in about $200 of damage.

A melted plastic object is seen in third base dugout Tuesday at the Hall-Dale Little League field in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Visible Tuesday on a bench in the third-base dugout of the field was a melted plastic lid, which MacMaster said may have been a bag of hand sanitizer removed from a dispenser and set on fire.

Hall-Dale Little League board of directors member Tyler Tripp said the damage was discovered by another board member Sunday. In addition to tipped portable toilets, he said a screen door was pulled off of the concession stand.

While the vandalism is “kind of discouraging,” Tripp said it will not impact the league’s season and it will be able to pay for any needed repairs.

“It’s really unfortunate that someone decided that would be their entertainment for the night,” he said. “You kind of hope … people would respect (the field).”

The last known major vandalism incident at the field was in the 1980s, Tripp said, adding that the Hallowell Police Department does a good job of patrolling the area around the field to prevent similar incidents.

MacMaster, the former police chief in Richmond, said ball fields in Richmond were often subject to littering and vandalism. He said they were an easily accessible location to hang out in public, but out of sight.

A hand sanitizer dispenser sits on the ground below where it was torn off a dugout wall Tuesday at the Hall-Dale Little League field in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Last year, Augusta’s Piggery Road complex, which includes Little League fields, was the subject of a rash of vandalism. On March 18, 2019, a concession stand was destroyed in a fire. A day later, the press box at McGuire Field was broken into and ransacked. And the next day, more damage was done to the concession stand.

Augusta Police Deputy Chief Kevin Lully said no arrests have been made in relation to the March 2019 incidents. A log of call on Piggery Road shows a few suspicious activity calls within the last year, but Lully said those calls were not related to March 2019 incidents or other incidents of vandalism.

Mike Karagiannes, a Capitol Area Recreation Association director-at-large, said the destruction of the concession stand halted concessions for the following season, which resulted in the loss of $4,000 to $6,000 from the Little League’s budget. The money is usually used for capital projects, he said, which also halted reconstruction of the press box at McGuire Field.

Karagiannes said the concession stand is now rebuilt, but it is being used as a COVID check-in for Little Leaguers to be screened before participating in games.

After learning of the Hall-Dale Little League field incident Monday, Karagiannes said he was immediately angered at the thought of the field being vandalized, even in a lesser manner than the Augusta fields.

“These facilities are here for the kids and the community,” he said. “Even with the Hall-Dale one, I could feel the anger building back up.”

MacMaster said his department is investigating the incident, but has no suspects or leads at this time. Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to call Hallowell Police Department at 207-622-9710.

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