The city of Bradenton, Florida had to shut down one of the Riverwalk’s most popular attractions after it was thought vandals ripped up a section of the splash pad this week. But when police reviewed the Riverwalk surveillance system late Thursday, they discovered the act was not malicious — a group of 3- to 5-year-olds are responsible for the damage.
“The city was going to shut down the splash pad soon anyway because there are spots that are coming up,” said Bradenton Police Department Capt. William Fowler. “There is nothing criminal about this. Some really small children found a loose spot and started pulling on it, and then a couple more came over to help them out.”
Gary Kinder, public works grounds and landscaping superintendent, said the video shows one small boy pulling on the loose spot. He then goes to tell a small girl, who tells two more small children and they all begin to pull on the same spot, eventually ripping up about a 2-foot swath of the pad.
The splash pad will need to remain closed until May 13 because the contractor is based in Arizona and can’t get to Bradenton until around May 11, Kinder said.