Police see surge in calls to Springfield park involving unruly teens

Authorities say some of the incidents could be connected to a harassment case at the beginning of the month near the Willamette River.

Posted: Jun 16, 2021 6:07 PM
Updated: Jun 16, 2021 10:13 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Springfield Police are investigating a series of calls to the Willamalane Skate Park regarding unruly teenagers.

Authorities say some of the incidents could be connected to a harassment case at the beginning of the month near the Willamette River.

Lt. George Crolly said his department received 13 calls in one month to the skate park. Typically, police respond to two or three calls during the summer months to a single park. Crolly said the calls have ranged from graffiti to yelling and screaming and assaults. He said one person suffered minor injuries during one of the assaults.

RELATED: REPORTS OF TEENAGERS HARASSING PEOPLE NEAR THE D STREET BOAT RAMP IN SPRINGFIELD

The descriptions of the teens involved vary, and according to police, the crimes are not all committed by the same group. However, Crolly said some descriptions are similar to a group of teens who harassed a man at the D Street Boat Ramp on June 2. One description that sticks out is a teen with orange hair.

Crolly said no one’s been arrested in any of these cases. Usually, School Resource Officers are a big help being the ears on campuses, but the pandemic has made it hard for investigators to find clues at schools.

“Normally our resource officers are not only there for enforcement of criminal activity but to be there for somebody for the kids to talk to if there's a problem witnessing something, perceiving a problem or are being threatened,” Crolly said

Springfield Police have stepped up patrols around the skate park. Crolly said if you’re witnessing any criminal activity at the park, use your phone to take pictures or record video because by the time police arrive, the teens have scattered.

“While witness by the human eye is good, it’s more powerful if we have video footage,” Crolly said.

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