On May 14, 2022, at around 02:54AM, The Vinton Fire Department and the Vinton Police Department responded to a report of a fire north of the swimming pool. One of the Vinton Parks and Recreation vehicles was fully engulfed with fire as well as the main playground equipment at the Riverside Park "ninja park". The vehicle and the playground equipment were a total loss.
Also reported was a trampoline that was on fire on a vacant lot south of the swimming pool area which was a total loss as well.
The investigation of the fire lead Vinton Police Officers to the identification of two Vinton male juveniles. The fire is still under investigation and charges are pending. The names of the two juveniles are being withheld.
Vinton Police Department was assisted by the Vinton Fire Department, and the Benton County Sheriff's Office.
Vinton Police Department
If you planned to take the kids to Riverside Park to play today, your plans were changed because as my two-year-old granddaughter said, "mean people burned it so that I can't play."
A fire was started at the park around 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning (May 14). Fire destroyed the three-year-old playground equipment and burned the rubber padding below. In 2017 an article from Parks and Rec said that the structure would cost $125,000 to be built.
The water fountain was also beaten and a fire was started in the women's restroom.
A pickup owned by the Vinton Parks and Rec department parked at the storage shed nearby was also destroyed by fire and spray painting damage was done to the Parks and Rec building.
As Matt Boggess stood observing the damage, he was already making plans for the area. That's what this guy does. There isn't any grass growing under his feet when it comes to taking care of Vinton.
In response to the fire at Riverside, Boggess made the decision to open the Splash Pad at Kiwanis park two weeks early, opening at noon on Saturday.
The Vinton Fire Department had nice note from Vinton, Louisiana's Fire Department which read in part, " Glad that no one was injured fighting the fires. Prayers from Louisiana."
If you have any video footage from the area or tips that could lead to the arrest of those that destroyed the property, contact the Vinton Police Department through the non-emergency number at 319-472-2337.
A special thank you to our Vinton Fire Department and Police Department who responded in the early morning hours.