Ruts in Ammon Park

Someone recently created tire ruts in the grass at Ammon Park in Pocatello. The ruts cover a large area in the park.

POCATELLO — Police are asking the public for any leads regarding an act of vandalism early Friday morning at Ammon Park.

Pocatello Police Department spokeswoman Dianne Brush said police responded to a call at 1:20 a.m. reporting someone driving through the turf of the park, located near Interstate 15.

Brush said no suspects were in the area when police arrived. She said the reporting party did not leave a call-back number, and she encouraged the reporting party or anyone else with information about the vehicle or incident to call police.

The city’s parks supervisor, Jerry Cuoio, said the vehicle left deep ruts and caused serious damage to the freshly watered sod. He had staff replace as much sod as possible, but much of the damage will require reseeding, he said.

“It’s really bad,” Cuoio said. “It went from the very bottom clear towards the shelter.”

Cuoio said vehicles driving in Ammon Park and “spinning cookies” has been a recurrent problem, which is especially common during winter, when snow makes it easier for vandals to make cars slide and spin.

Cuoio said there are no barriers restricting cars from entering the park all along the roadside. In the past, the city used a chain to close access during the winter months. Cuoio suspects the city may need to bring in large rocks to block vehicles from entering the park. He said a similar approach has been successful in keeping vehicles out of Ross Park.

The damage was especially concerning to Ammon Park neighbor Lucille Linford, who routinely takes her great-grandson there to play.

“They’ve made big whirls all through the park,” Linford said. “It’s deep and it’s going to take a long time to come out.”

Linford said some Boy Scouts are planning a wildflower garden in an area of the park, and the city has worked hard to maintain it well.

“I hope whoever did it can realize how bad it is for people to work so hard and to have it destroyed,” Linford said.