UPDATE: Surveillance Photos Released in A.D. Lewis Pool Vandalism


UPDATE 6/25/14 @3:40 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Police have released surveillance photos of several people who they say are persons of interest in the vandalism of the A.D.. Lewis Community Pool in Huntington

The pool had to be shut down Monday after vandals struck early Monday morning or late Sunday night.

Someone crawled into a hole in the back of the pool house and opened the door from the inside. The rest of the vandals climbed the fence to get in.

Once inside, the vandals spray-painted graffiti on a wall and set pool noodles and water test kits on fire and threw them into the pool. They also dumped all of the pool chemicals from the pool house into the water, causing it to turn brown and green.

The pool reopened Tuesday afternoon.

The vandals also spray-painted graffiti on a nearby business and around a neighborhood.

On June 12 a ribbon cutting was held to celebrate the opening of the pool.

The pump to the pool needed replaced, and the staff turned to Marathon Oil for advice on fixing it. Marathon fixed the pump and also helped repaint the facility and do some landscaping.

Anyone with information on the identities of the people in surveillance photos is asked to call Huntington Police Sgt. Kenny Lake at 304-696-4420.



UPDATE 6/24/14 @ 6:40 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A community center pool in Huntington is open again Tuesday after vandals caused enough damage to close it, only two weeks after its grand opening was celebrated.

The A. D. Lewis Community Center in the city's Fairfield West community had to shut down its pool Monday. That's because, sometime early that morning or late Sunday night, vandals made their way inside.

Someone crawled into a hole in the back of the pool house and opened the door from the inside. The rest of the vandals climbed the fence to get in.

Once inside, the vandals spray-painted graffiti on a wall and set pool noodles and water test kits on fire and threw them into the pool. They also dumped all of the pool chemicals from the pool house into the water, causing it to turn brown and green.

Everything was cleaned up and the water was clear Tuesday, but the chemical levels in the water were still unsafe to swim in.

“It disappoints me because everybody knows it’s the community pool and the kids come and swim here,” said Samekka Penn. “That’s the only thing they really have here to do and that someone would do that, that’s not right.”

Penn says she and her kids have gone to the pool nearly every day since it has been open. Early Tuesday, her kids were upset that they couldn’t go swimming.

“They like coming over here every morning when we wake up and say, 'We're going to go to the pool,' ” Penn said. “Yesterday when we came here they were sad that it happened, and today they’re very disappointed.”

A ribbon cutting took place on June 12 to celebrate the opening of the pool that was once doomed to close.

The pump to the pool needed replaced, and the staff turned to Marathon Oil for advice on fixing it. Marathon fixed the pump and also helped repaint the facility and do some landscaping.

All of the hard work made closing the pool tough for people who spent their time opening it.

“A lot of people put their sweat, tears, money into this pool to make sure that it opened,” said Maria Hill, director to the community center. “For it to be closed because someone did this is very disheartening.”

The vandals also spray-painted graffiti on a nearby business and around a neighborhood.

Huntington Police are looking for surveillance video that could surface who is responsible for the crimes.



ORIGINAL STORY 6/24/13 @ 4:52 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Surveillance video could be the key in finding out who vandalized a public swimming pool in Huntington.

The pool at the A.D. Lewis Community Center in Fairfield West is now closed until further notice.

According to the City's Facebook page, someone broke into the pool house late Sunday night or early Monday and dumped a large amount of chemicals into the pool's pumping system. They also spray painted the pool house as well as neighboring businesses.

Huntington Police are in the process of obtaining surveillance video.

The pool won't reopen until the chemical balance in the pool returns to normal.


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