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Arson case leads Yelm to close skate park, police say

The Yelm skate park was closed Thursday after a portable toilet was set on fire and adjacent areas were vandalized.
The Yelm skate park was closed Thursday after a portable toilet was set on fire and adjacent areas were vandalized.

Yelm police and city officials have closed the skate park located at 203 First St. NE in Yelm indefinitely after an arson indecent Thursday afternoon.

One juvenile was arrested after a portable toilet was set on fire at the park. Yelm police Sgt. Rob Carlson said the usage of cameras on the park may have assisted in locating the individual, who confessed when contacted by police.

The city posted photos of the vandalized toilet on its Facebook page, noting that the beer cans and other trash were littered in the surrounding area, causing the closure.

Photos of the toilet on the city’s Facebook page show a hole burned through one of the walls, while others are covered in vandalism. The back wall reads “legalize meth cult” in white paint.

“They’ve been warned many times, the kids over there that use the park, to police themselves,” Carlson said. “We’ve been getting some complaints from it.

“Once they set the porta potty on fire, that was the last straw to close it down.”

Carlson said complaints about potential drug use, fights and other illicit behaviors in the skate park have increased as the weather has improved. With summer break approaching, the park has been shut down and barricaded and will not reopen until further notice.

“For the most part, kids at that park are good and use the park for what it’s for, but there are a few who ruin it for everyone,” Carlson said.

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