Firefighter Helps Solve Muddy Mystery
By Mike Perleberg
(Bright, Ind.) – A broken mudflap led to the identification of a teenager who vandalized a field used for hosting community events in Bright.
The field behind the Bright Fire Station #1 on Salt Fork Road is used to host the Bright Community Festival and other celebrations like the Bright Area Business Association’s BABA-Q.
Sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning, somebody tore up the grass field by driving a vehicle into it and doing donuts. After seeing just how extensive the damage was, Bright Fire & EMS chief Jason Eckhoff reported the vandalism to the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday.
“We didn’t think it was too bad until we walked out there to see there were ruts that are a foot deep,” Eckhoff tells Eagle Country 99.3.
A sheriff’s deputy who came to investigate walked through the field and found stuck in one of those ruts a piece of a mudflap. Presumably, it had broken off the perpetrator’s vehicle during the act.
With that piece of evidence, Eckhoff began to drive around some nearby streets. Soon enough, he observed a car parked in a driveway, covered in mud, and missing a mudflap.
Deputies questioned a youth at that residence. He admitted to causing the damage to the field, Eckhoff says.
Because the suspect is a minor, his identity will likely not been released.
The cost of fixing the damage may end up being thousands of dollars. But Eckhoff says many people have offered help.
“Zimmer Tractor reached out to us to help and a company called The Lawn Doctor up here out of Logan. Some of our previous fire department members want to help get the damage fixed, but it’s something we won’t get a chance to fix until spring,” Eckhoff said.
Eckhoff doesn’t want to see the vandal go to jail, but would like him to learn a valuable lesson.
“He needs to understand that, A, you got to respect people’s property. And, B, at the end of the day every action has a consequence.”