Officials Concerned About Violence At A Popular Park

By Gavin Johnson - bio |email

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Wallace Leinwand Park is a popular attraction for many people who live in Elizabethtown.

People go there to eat their lunch, walk around the track, and there's even a playground for kids.

But last Tuesday, the park was anything but innocent.

Police say little league umpire Kel Purdie had enough with a 19-year old fan and heckler.

"At the end of the game the umpire was approached by family members of the 19-year old, he assaulted him and there was a fight," said Bobby Kinlaw, Elizabethtown Police Chief.

Purdie, the 19-year old, and another man were arrested.

Chief Bobby Kinlaw, say days before that, there was another violent incident.

Kinlaw says, a 15-year old was beat up by a group of teenagers.

"It worries me. Unfortunately some of the problems we have no control over. We have a big problem with 12-15 year old children being dropped off by parents and spending the night out here," said  Kyle Bostic, who's on the board for The Elizabethtown Dixie Youth Baseball League.

Officials say if the violence at the park doesn't stop, they may have to get stricter policies.

"If you allow your children to come out here unsupervised, we're probably going to take steps to start turning them away and not allowing them out here," said Bostic.

Officials say if things at Leinwand Park don't shape up, they may even start making people pay to attend games.

The umpire is no longer calling games at the baseball field, and the 19-year old is banned from attending any games.