A vandal or vandals taped scalpel blades to a children’s slide in England, putting anyone who used it at risk of being horribly maimed, BBC News is reporting. Fortunately, the vandalism was caught before anyone could get hurt.
On Friday, the Ormskirk and Burscough Police Department posted a warning on Facebook about the act of vandalism, which had been discovered at the Winifred Lane Play area in Aughton.
“Whoever did this could have caused serious injury to a child – please be assured we are fully investigating this matter.”
It remains unclear, as of this writing, how the vandalism was discovered, and by whom.
Local ward Councillor David Westley said that the park is run by the local council, and that they’ll be checking surveillance-camera footage. If they see anything suspicious, they’ll be forwarding it to the police.
“I’m absolutely horrified. It’s impossible to comprehend why anyone would do such a thing.”
Similarly, park board member Doreen Stephenson was also appalled.
“I can’t believe anybody would stoop so low to do something like this in a public children’s play area. It’s an absolute disgrace.”
Photos of the vandalism show the metal blades, which blend in with the metal of the slide and are affixed with clear tape – making detection even harder – with the sharp end exposed.
So tell me why would someone do this...Scalpel blades have been found taped to the sides of a slide in a children's play area. They were found stuck to play equipment at the Winifred Lane play area in Aughton, near Ormskirk #why pic.twitter.com/HgMTylntzI— Joe Lee (@Joelee15) December 1, 2018
Had a child slid down that slide with his hands on the edges, it seems a certainty that his or her hands would have been sliced up, possibly severely.
This is not the first time playground equipment has been tampered with – and in fact, in at lest one case, that tampering has led to injuries.
As WABC-TV (New York City) reported at the time, in 2009 a six-year-old boy was injured when using adulterated playground equipment in Pleasant Valley. The boy, identified as Sean Yambo, slid down the slide and was sliced up by a razor blade that had been inserted through a hole cut underneath the slide.
The razor blade cut Yambo’s skin, giving him a severe laceration that required 30 stitches to sew up.
Police arrested an 11-year-old boy in connection with this crime, saying that he inserted the blade through a hole in the slide, for no other reason than to cause injury. Police did not release his name because he was a juvenile at the time of this crime.
Meanwhile, back in England, police are encouraging adults to check all playground equipment thoroughly before allowing their children to play on it.