Arson damages equipment at park

Violence believed to be targeted at dogs has resulted in damages to equipment in Miami Township that could add up to $20,000. On Aug. 25, an early-morning blaze in Miami Meadows park consumed equipment being used to create a new dog park.

Detective William Paul of the Miami Township Police Department said that the fire may have been set by someone with a serious dislike for dogs.

“I think it’s an adult that’s upset about the dog park,” said Det. Paul. “The time frame is telling, most juveniles are not outdoors doing malicious vandalism at that time. We’re still looking at the security video.”

The call that brought firefighters to the park revealed the loss of a Kubota tractor, a John Deer Gator and several other pieces of equipment used in the construction of the dog park. A second tractor was severely damaged because of it’s proximity to the park. Assistant Chief Harold Thiele of the Miami Township Fire Department said that arson isn’t a big problem in the township, but that it has struck Miami Meadows Park before.

“We got the call at approximately 5:30 in the morning,” said Thiele. “We had another arson about a year ago where some kids lit fires in the restrooms. It’s pretty rare, it’s not common.”

Authorities are still looking for leads in the case, which has been put on Crime Stoppers. A possible reward may also be available. Det. Paul said that the blaze added insult to injury by using a banner for the new park as tinder for the fire.

“We haven’t received any tips yet, but we’re hoping that something will come in,” said Det. Paul. “Basically, we got a call at about 5:30 a.m. The fire department got there and found the tractor fully engulfed, the John Deer Gator fully engulfed and a second tractor damaged from the blaze. There was also equipment attached to them. This was for the construction of a dog park, and the banner used to proclaim that construction was also used as either fuel or to start the fire. We think that’s connected.”

To report information concerning the fire, call the police department at (513) 248-3721 or the fire department at (513) 248-3700.