Dideriksen Park Gets the Red Card

The clean, perfectly kept grass of a soccer field has been torn up by rubber tires. Deep brown parallel track marks now cover the field, rending them unplayable for the foreseeable future.

Dideriksen+Park+Gets+the+Red+Card

Arjun Deepak, Bear Hub Staff

“I was outraged,” said Jim Harmon. Ever since his daughter decided to play soccer at four, he had decided to be a coach. As a child, Harmon’s father would always be involved with what he was doing whether that be sports or clubs. He could hardly imagine not being involved. At this point, “I’ve coached almost everything there is to coach,” he joked. In 2010, he was asked to join the East Brunswick Soccer Club Board and in 2011 was the president of the board. Harmon understood how much the kids get out of soccer and how much the destruction of the fields took that away. 

Harmon first saw the pictures of the vandalism on the East Brunswick Soccer Club Whatsapp group page. The photos, taken by one of the vice presidents, were a bit blurry but revealed the overwhelming damage to the fields. The fields in question are located at Dideriksen Park, fields 6 and 7. Those fields are unusable for the remainder of the season. 

At the time, he believed that the tire tracks were caused by teenagers on dirt bikes. He didn’t care so much if they were caught, but the teens knew the effects of the destruction they caused. That is when he made his Facebook post. 

“I thought people were going to think I was, you know, making a mountain out of a molehill. Some guy is overreacting over kids being kids,” recalled Harmon. He was touched by the outpour of support from the community. In the comments, parents expressed the same outrage and disgust that he had felt when he first saw the pictures. Members of the East Brunswick City Council were tagged and an investigation was launched. 

The investigation revealed that it was not dirt bikes that caused the damage to the fields but instead a car or truck. If you have any information that could lead to the identification of the driver please contact the East Brunswick Police Department at (732)-432-8477 or [email protected]