Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown says a 17-year-old Bronx stole a buldozer earlier this week, destroying a brand new playground in Far Rockaway.
Brown says the suspect, Allan Swafford, broke into the Land-Tek construction site at the intersection of Lewmay Road and Beach 30th Street sometime between 5:00 p.m. Sunday and 6:40 a.m. Monday and stole – amongst other items, including a nail gun – the keys to a bulldozer that was parked outside.
Swafford, Brown says, drove the bulldozer “through a playground under construction, destroying nine sections of decorative fencing and forty feet of curbing; damaging the sidewalk and decorative pilings; and ripping two plastic slides from the playground.”
Additionally, Swafford “damaged four platforms including roofing, stairs, posts and railings; destroyed a suspended walking bridge; damaged a small slide and tore down an additional fifty feet of fencing.”
Unfortunately for Swafford, a witness watched him driving the bulldozer “with its front shovel swinging back and forth causing damage to the property.” He was arrested yesterday.
District Attorney buzzkill offers the following assessment of Swafford’s alleged crimes:
“The defendant is accused of causing extensive damage to a brand new playground in Far Rockaway that was under construction and set to open this summer – bringing some welcome joy into the lives of the area’s many disadvantaged children. Instead of having a fun place to spend some time this summer, the neighborhood children will be left to wonder why someone would commit such a senseless crime.”
Swafford, as you might imagine, is in some pretty serious trouble, despite his young age – he was booked on one count each of third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, and first-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle. If convicted, he is looking at up to seven years in prison.