SOCASTEE, S.C. (WBTW) — A popular park in Socastee was damaged by vandals Saturday night, and residents say it’s not the first time.
Horry County police were dispatched to the Socastee Recreation Park located on Butler Road at about 10 p.m. Saturday to investigate a report of about 25 trucks and 20 to 25 people at a “loud party” at the park.
“People coming in late at night, building bonfires in a once beautiful field, bringing their own pallets to burn, ruining everything,” Tonya Purvis said.
Horry County Parks and Recreation crews filled a truck trailer with garbage bags full of damage and litter left after police responded to the park on Saturday.
A video provided to News13 by a resident shows extensive damage to a field used for soccer and other activities, apparently caused by vehicles doing doughnuts on the wet grass. The video also showed broken fence posts and wooden pallets used for a bonfire.
“Chewed up field” popular
One resident, Dell Richmond, who has played golf at there for years, said this isn’t the first time in recent months that he’s had to hit balls on a “chewed up field.”
“I come out and hit the golf ball around, but I lose many balls in the ruts,” he said. “Stumbling around in the ruts in the parking lot, it’s a little dangerous.”
According to Horry County police records, all but about four people left without incident after officers arrived. Four people who remained were asked to pick up trash from a bonfire.
A resident contacted News13 and said people have been going into the park after dark during the past few months and four-wheeling in the fields. The residents said nothing has been done despite reports filed with authorities.
“It doesn’t much to fix this, maybe a camera, maybe locking the gate or fixing the gate,” Purvis said.
Horry County police spokesperson Mikayla Moskov said their plan moving forward is to increase patrols in the area.
“Asking our county PD to essentially drive by more often,” she said. “Ensure that if there’s anyone in the area, educating them on what they are allowed to do, what is permissible activity.”
Horry County police asks the public to contact their non-emergency dispatch line if anyone sees suspicious activity.