Owner uses social media to help track down teen who vandalized his baseball field

The teenager who messed up the field allegedly apologized and offered to help with repairs

HOUSTON – Like most baseball fields, Gary and Tee Bender’s Field of Dreams in Kingwood is supposed to be reserved for one sport -- Baseball. But Tuesday night, surveillance cameras caught a van barging through an opening on the field in what looked like a drag race.

Looking at Gary and Tee Bender’s field of dreams in Kingwood Wednesday afternoon, it might be hard to tell that just hours earlier owner Heath Bender’s had recently installed surveillance cameras, which caught the act of vandalism.

“Some truck drove in through this hole right here, came on the field, and started doing figure-eights, driving all over the place. Then (the van) drove back down to the other field and did the same thing,” Bender said.

The result was tire marks and divots left in the grass.

“(We spent) hours out here trying to flatten it back out. Then we had to mow it, and once we mowed it, it kind of evened out,” Bender said.

Bender says the burnouts have been happening for months, each time affecting the 300 kids who play here for the Dynasty team.

“(We’re) worried about how we’re going to practice on it,” said Gavin Womack who plays for Dynasty.

What’s worse than the $4,000 that was already shelled out for materials to make repairs, is the danger Bender says the uneven ground poses every time this happens.

“It’s dangerous for the players, they could sprain their ankle, roll their ankle, bad boots, you know,” Bender said.

“I’m thinking why would somebody just do that,” said Ryder Renfro who plays for Dynasty.

But finding out the answer to that question wouldn’t be hard.

“(We) downloaded the video, posted it on Facebook, and within two hours we had messages saying, ‘The car is located here. The car is located there.’ And all these Kingwood families were trying to help out,” Bender said.

As it turns out, the culprit is a teenager who lives nearby the field.

HPD is investigating, but Bender says he and the kid already have an agreement.

“As long as he works to fix up the rest of the field, no charges will be filed,” Bender said.

KPRC 2 also spoke to the teenager who didn’t want to go on camera. He says he’s sorry and he wasn’t thinking.


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