Suspects charged in destroyed gazebo case

Vandals collapsed and destroyed the gazebo at Rose Vesper Park in the village of New Richmond on Jan. 18, 2017.

By Megan Alley
Sun staff

Vandals collapsed and destroyed the gazebo at Rose Vesper Park in the village of New Richmond on Jan. 18, 2017.

Four juveniles appeared in court on Feb. 6 for their pretrial hearings in conjunction with the destruction of the gazebo in Rose Vesper Park in the village of New Richmond.

The suspects, who are between the ages of 15 and 17, were recently arrested by the New Richmond Police Department.

Each was juvenile suspect  involved was charged with vandalism of government property, according to Teresa Boothby, Chief Deputy Clerk for the Clermont County Juvenile Court.

Three of the suspects’ cases are being continued to another pre-trial hearing. One is scheduled for Feb. 13 and two are scheduled for Feb. 22.

The fourth suspect admitted to the charges, and the case is scheduled for a disposition or sentencing on March. 13.

Three of the suspects are male and one is female, with three of them residents of New Richmond.

All four suspects are being held in the county’s juvenile detention center.

The charges stem from an incident were vandals collapsed and destroyed the gazebo on Jan. 18 between 10 p.m. and midnight, according to a press release from the police department.

The department added in the release that it was apparent that several people rocked the gazebo to the point that it was broken from its foundation.

“I’m more disappointed than angry,” Greg Roberts, village administrator, said at the time, “Because we’re trying to improve the village, improve the village parks, and they’re for the public’s enjoyment – they’re not for our council members, not for me, the administrator – they’re for the people of the village, and this is more of an, I think, offense against our people.”

He went on to say, “It’s inexplicable why anyone would do this; totally inexplicable.”

The gazebo stood as the focal point for the park, which was dedicated to former State Representative Rose Vesper, according to a press release.

The Vesper family donated $20,000 to build the gazebo, which was completed in 2010.

The vandalism of the gazebo is not taken lightly, and the dollar figure associated with the gazebo is secondary to its legacy and sentimental value, Randy Harvey, police chief, said in the release.

Village officials are uncertain if the gazebo will be replaced or not.