Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS


In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.



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Vandals Attack Manor Park

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A commemorative bench was ripped off its cement footing and tossed onto the rocks below at Manor Park. Don Sutherland submitted this photo and commented, "Hopefully, the thugs responsible will be caught, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to the fullest extent of the law. "

It was vandalism – not the thrashing thunderstorm – that destroyed fences and benches at Larchmont’s Manor Park on Friday, May 8. Click here for more photos of the destruction.

Split rail fences were ripped out and thrown into the Sound, a commemorative bench was tossed onto the rocks and parts of other benches were knocked out or broken off.  A rail was torn from one gazebo.

Heavy force must have been used in some cases to dislodge the fence posts from their cement footings. Some of the masonry sustained damage as well.

Beer bottles on the floor of a damaged gazebo may be a clue to what fueled the vandalism.

Beer bottles were neatly lined up below the torn out rail of a Manor Park gazebo on Saturday morning, May 9.

Beer bottles were neatly lined up below the torn out rail of a Manor Park gazebo on Saturday morning, May 9.

Larchmont Village police were investigating, having been alerted to the destruction by a resident walking the park at 7:20 am on Saturday, May 9.

“Nothing makes me sicker than vandalism and destruction of public property,” said Mayor Liz Feld when apprised of the incident. “If I could, I would build  stocks in front of Village Hall and haul in the vandals.”

Though open to the public, the park is owned by the Larchmont Manor Park Society, a private neighborhood association. Karin Sherman, who assumes the association presidency today at the society’s annual meeting,  said there is always  a “rash” of vandalism in the spring.

“But this is a lot different,” she said. “I don’t ever recall anything as bad as this.”

Photograoph by Don Sutherland, who said he hopes "the thugs responsible will be caught, prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to the fullest extent of the law."

The split rail fences were ripped out of the cement. Photo by Don Sutherland.

Click here for more photos of the destruction, taken on May 10 by Paula Eisenberg.

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50 comments to Vandals Attack Manor Park

  • Larchmonter

    Where was the Manor Park security guy? This must have taken a while and been pretty noisy. Why do people do things like this? Manor Park is the community’s crown jewel, and it’s hard to understand how anybody would want to harm it.

  • Manor Park lover

    I am very saddened by this. I saw the destruction Saturday morning while walking with a friend, and we were incredulous. The cement is buckled in places which means that, as the reporter says, a lot of force must have been used. I hope the beer bottles provide some DNA evidence, and they can nail these criminals.

  • 10538er

    Just some local kids out having a good time. Don’t worry Mom and Dad, little tommy and billy never cause trouble when they go out at night. I never thought I would be old enough to say this, but many of today’s young kids need a good swift kick in the a**.

    • Larchmonter

      We don’t know that they’re local, do we? I guess it’s even more shocking if they are, since they probably enjoyed the park and beach as children, and have now come back to trash it as they’ve “grown up.”

      I hope the police have tested the beer bottles for fingerprints and DNA and compared any findings with what’s on the damaged materials. At least they could pinpoint that the beer drinkers did the vandalism, and if suspects are ever brought in, nail them.

  • Why not use common sense? A security guard is unnecessary during daytime, but should be present after dark, particularly around graduation time and other major school events. If these kids are caught they should be forced to rebuild and pay for the destruction. On another level, the barbarians are not only at the gates but well inside the walls of civilization.

  • dogwalker

    This vandalism is indeed mind boggling.
    Truly shocking that those vandals were so out of control angry — or drugged up or …? — to do such extensive damage. Really scary to think about what else they might be capable of doing in our town….

    But shocking also is the general disregard for their fellow citizens shown with increasing frequency by non-drugged-up adults who show their disrespect for Manor Park in a less flamboyant way: by not picking up after their dogs in the park — or by letting their dogs run off leash throughout the park, despite the clear (and sensible) rules posted at the entrances not to do so.

    Young kids like to run and roll on that grass — and yet some thoughtless dog owners think it’s perfectly OK to let their dogs befoul that grass.

    This park is a precious treasure for the whole Sound Shore community.
    Hard to understand why everyone doesn’t feel a personal responsibility to take care of it — and preserve it so everyone can enjoy its quiet beauty.

    The lack of civility exhibited by some is so very disheartening.

  • Don

    It is disheartening that a group of individuals would care so little about their neighborhood and neighbors in carrying out such wanton destruction of one of Larchmont’s most precious parks. Hopefully, the criminals responsible will be apprehended, prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to the fullest extent of the law with no leniency whatsoever.

  • Lorraine Forbes

    One of my favorite memories as a child/young adult was the time spent in Manor Park.(MHS 75) I live on the other coast and enjoy the Pacific Ocean whenever I can. However, nothing out here has quite the soothing memories the Manor brings when I visit in my mind. When I saw this headline, I really didn’t want to open the article. It was worse than I imagined. The first thing I thought when I saw the bench was that it was probably a memorial bench, and what must the family be feeling. If they could round up the cast of clowns that did this, I’d love to see them forced to manually undo their damage. At least what could physically be repaired.

  • Ex-Larchmonter

    Seriously? Ripping up fence posts and destroying benches? It’s such a juvenile thing to do. Therefore look to obnoxious brats if you want to find your culprits. Hmm, DNA test the beer bottles! Or at least dust ‘em for fingerprints.

  • Words can’t describe the barbaric nature of this crime. The thugs who vandalized our precious jewel must be prosecuted — not only paying for repairs but also serving time in jail. Too bad a stockade can’t be built. I believe the authorities should give the parents of these monsters two choices — turn them in or face prosecution for allowing them to drink.

    Good question, where was the security guard or even the police? It must’ve taken a long time and made a lot of noise. Someone such as a neighbor, should’ve heard something!

    My guess is these monsters live close by to the park.

  • MM

    Eh, I don’t think it’s barbaric or that the miscreants are monsters. That’s hyperbole. It wasn’t rape, torture or murder.

    They smashed up some stuff that wasn’t theirs. That’s bad, and we all liked the stuff they smashed. Stuff can be fixed and replaced.

    • Larchmonter

      MM, the word “barbaric” may be hyperbole, but I think this is a more serious matter than your post would suggest. For one thing, the perps need to be found and arrested and punished, as much for their own sake as an example to other potential vandals. Assuming they are indeed young, they mustn’t think they’ve simply pulled off a wonderful jape and gotten away with it. I hope the LPD have quick success in finding out who did this.

  • Bob

    The violence of it is unsettling.

    First, that’s a lot of beer and it probably took a crew of vandals to do all this damage.

    Second, that means there are witnesses; friends of witnesses, the family members of witnesses and all their neighbors.

    Third, this reminds me too much of last year’s bomb scares — where the students had to endure for many days knowing that someone among them was a loose cannon.

    Fourth, where were the police and security and just plain common sense among the parents of these children to at least know where they were?

    Fifth, like someone out there doesn’t know someone has a serious “impulse-control” problem and is choosing to be silent?

    It’s the disrespect for the property that bothers me, more like disrespecting one’s backyard or neighbor’s property. Manor Park is enjoyed by people in and around Larchmont. Whether it is due to its setting, it’s sentimental value or historical proximity … I would think someone has to be extremely callous and maybe even dangerous to perpetuate this kind of damage on Manor Park.

    Maybe everyone can start by figuring out why children could be that angry and provide perhaps some outlet other than the usual sports-in-the-box routine. Or am I cutting these teenagers too much slack saying that two years of instances of anger in a community might be indications of a deeper problem?

  • LANCE

    WHERE ARE THE HIGH PRICE POLICE WHEN WE NEED THEM?

  • Don

    MM,

    I don’t believe one should discount the gravity of the criminal activity that took place in Manor Park. It is perhaps quite fortunate that no pedestrians may have been present in the park at the time the vandals were wreaking havoc. One cannot be entirely sure that the vandals would not have turned their rage on anyone who might have been passing through the park at the time.

    Finally, if the vandals are not brought to justice and that development creates a perception that the crime rate is rising in the Larchmont Manor area, that situation could adversely affect home prices. Given the ongoing recession and its impact on home prices, that is one thing homeowners residing around Manor Park do not need.

  • slp

    some 30 years ago, when we were kids, you couldn’t even make it half way through a walk in the park after it closed in the evening without the security guard throwing you out. forget sneaking in and drinking – the trouble was seldom worth it. why was there enough time, and why did no one hear what was going on? where was the security guard? we’re not talking about the dead of winter here….

  • Vir of Ebullio

    Kids don’t buy Heineken, adults do. Kids buy cheap beer. Perhaps all the outraged parents should check their beer stash. If you are missing a 12-pack or a case, maybe you would want to quiz your children as to their whereabouts. The culprits are likely locals because few outsiders even know about Manor Park.

  • Ruth Brause

    It’s outrageous that the property that we love and care about so strongly was trashed. Cameras recording activities that go on 24/7 should be installed. That will keep the brazen out, even if only in fear that they may be caught. The Manor is our oasis in this difficult world – let’s protect and cherish it.

  • student

    I am almost positive that the damage was done by students from Rye Neck High School.

  • SCM

    We walked through on Mother’s Day and were sickened by the destruction. Having grown up jumping on those rocks, hanging out with friends, my wedding photos in the park, my children climbing on the same rocks, the history of the park is part of my history and my family’s history. For the person who said it was just “stuff” – no, this hurt my heart to see this. And not to be dismissed so lightly, whatever is creating this very sad need to destroy and harm in whoever did it should have everyone concerned. It’s not pranks, it’s violence and it’s criminal.

  • Unknown

    I know who did it… ryeneck juniors… i had no idea they thrashed it that bad

    • Seeker of Integrity

      It is your responsibility to come to the Larchmont Police and give them the details that you know. If you know who did it and aren’t speaking up, you may as well have done it yourself.

  • Aldas

    Oh yes I’m sure that a crime of this nature is going to force the LPD to go CSI on Manor Park and get fingerprints and DNA from these beer bottles. That means they would have to get these DNA and fingerprints from plenty of kids in nearby towns. This is upsetting but it is not murder nor is it rape.

  • Guy

    Just to make everything clear, the destruction was not caused by local Mamaroneck High School kids, it was caused by kids from Rye Neck Senior High .

  • Gary

    It was obviously Mamaroneck kids seeing as they were bothered by the tauntings of Rye Neck. I believe that the cops should personally pick the most suspicious groups of Mamaroneck although it is a highly populated school. We can’t take any more chances, and as Larchmonter said, we cannot have another crown jewel of westchester destroyed.

    • joseph

      actually it was rye neck students who caused the destruction. why would kids from Mamaroneck take their frustrations out on their own park?

  • Larchy

    As we understand, evidently a piece of Larchmont was destroyed last weekend. Growing up in the district has been wonderful, and my kids have a great time in class, but one of the main questions is not who did this, but which school disrupted the community. I’ve heard many sources explaining that it was Mamaroneck High School underclassmen involved with alcohol – thus leading to impaired decisions leading to the destruction of Manor Park. It has been said that Rye-Neck High School was held responsible for the damage at the park, but it has been proven false. The underclassman blamed them for the damage due to conflicts with Rye-Neck earlier during the month.

  • joseph

    Larchy, you’re simply wrong. it was Rye Neck kids who caused the damage, not Mamaroneck students.

  • next town over

    right, blame it on the fact that there was no security guards. this is the problem with this community, no one is willing to take responsibility for their children. we all know that the parents of whoever perpetrated this vandalism will pay their way out of this. just like they’ve done for their kids all along. this is how they show their love. how can you expect your children to respect property when they are given everything they want and when everything gets broken they get everything replaced. the arrogance, denial, and dysfunction in this community is appalling.

    i particularly love the comment that kids don’t buy heineken, they buy cheap stuff. come on, in larchmont?

    • Ex-Manorite

      I grew up across from the park- 15+years. Now I’m 4 hours away in another upscale town but still know it as the most beautiful and serene place and I love returning to walk the park. I teared up reading what happened. I also have an 18 year old son. When vandals hit his high school they all knew what school the vandals came from but couldn’t prove it, it was just hearsay. The MHS kids may know- or may just think that they know. Destruction happens in all tax brackets. If the vandals are caught they should suffer the consequences no matter where they are from not because it’s our park, but because we don’t want kids thinking that they can get away with these actions. It would be the wrong message and society will suffer again in the future. So-if anyone can prove who did it-speak to the police, it’s the right thing to do for that kid’s sake. And to “next town over” as far as L’mont kids not buying cheap beer…..you have no clue but you do seem to have a chip on your shoulder.

  • Stephanie

    I say let the punishment fit the crime . . . why not require students to take park watching duty as a community service component to their education. All of our Parks need watching.

  • Jean

    Good reporting. Appreciate your keeping the reader informed.

  • Greg

    Even though Manor Park has signs stating its closure after dark; it’s not enforced. Although cost is always a consideration, there appears to be plenty of police officers within the Town of Larchmont to not only hand out parking tickets and cell phone tickets, but also to more thoroughly patrol the park – perhaps nighttime foot or bike patrols? People who break Park nightime closure rules regularly park cars within one block of the entrances to the Park on public streets – they’re not walking in or riding bicycles.

    To this point, the Traffic Board has denied my past requests to tighten nighttime street parking near Manor Park. Eventhough the park has signs saying it is closed after dark, people regularly park on close-by streets and walk into the park after dark. Current regulations permit parking until 12:00 a.m. every day of the week. If parking rules were changed to say 10:00 p.m. within 2-3 blocks of the Park, it would be much easier for homeowners to help police monitor illegal parking activity around the park. After all, people are parking near the park to walk into it.

  • Ingebrog Mahn

    I grew up in larchmont, back in the early 70´s. I am planning a visit in the near future so I logged into the gazette. To my dismay I read this appauling news. Shamefull!!! It tore my heart…vandalism is everywhere. But, beyond the distruction, the manor is still beautiful.

  • cw

    Wow, how brazen.

    Manor Park is holy ground to so many, past and present.

    We’ve climbed her rocks, skipped her stones, enjoyed her fishing contests, strolled upon her paths, rested in her naturaly hewn benches… sunrises, walks with family and friends, smooches, shooting stars… How many prayers have been said upon her rocks, or conversations has she heard?

    Peace to all friends of Manor Park.

  • Frederick Miller

    My wife, Lesley Harper Miller, and I both grew up in Larchmont way back in the late thirties on up to the fifties. It is sad to see such wanton destruction.

    Incidentally we love your new look and the pictures are very clear and sharp. Well done.

  • I agree with the first commenter, Stephanie. Let them learn that actions have consequences. The kids should be made to fix and re-install anything broken, their parents billed collectively. Then 30 days each to patrol for garbage.

  • Another Lance

    I agree with Greg. For years we have tried to change the parking regulations, and the best we could do was no parking from Midnight to 6am. Even then these regulations are often not enforced when cars are parked outside the park during no parking times, and people are obviously in it. When the police are called, and when they come and actually catch people in the park, they seem to just let them go–and from what I can see there is no enforcement except to get them to leave–and there are times the police leave even before the people do! We used to call when we saw people going into the park late, and sometimes the police were prompt in coming and other times we felt like we were just being a pest. This vandalism has happened before and I am afraid it is going to get worse unless there is some real enforcement. Cars parked illegally should get tickets, people illegally in the park need to be fined or have other consequences–not just told to leave. We would be happy to call every time we see someone go into the Park past hours—we rarely do anymore (unless we hear screaming or really loud yelling) because we felt unsupported if we did it “too many times”. The Park Society and the Police need to coordinated and acutualy start rigorous enforcement before someone is really hurt there and more damage is done. People around the Park should be encouraged to report people parking illegally and going into the Park after hours, and the police should make a point in enforcing the regulations.

  • bornandraised

    Parents take action. Let’s turn our community into one with zero tolerance. Get involved. Know where your teenagers are. Be firm. Be strict. Visit http://www.LMRadar.org for all of the latest research on alcohol and drugs and teens. We can do something about bad teenage behavior but it takes commitment and diligence. We are not our teenagers friends, we are their parents!

  • That is the place i sat with a friend a couple of years ago and had such a nice chat after lunch. The gazebo I mean. If they catch these buggers I do rather hope they bring back the public stocks where these goofy people can be put on public display for their transgressions. Just fining them is not enough in my judgment. Public infrastructure belongs to us all. So if you are going to destroy it than we should very publicly punish them. Perhaps the dunking chair should also be brought back. Or is that too close to water boarding. I suppose it might be. But still ……………..
    I am sad to see this has happened to such a lovely area and one that holds fond memories still for me.

    Rick

  • Concerned

    The simple solution is to find the Mamaroneck High School students responsible, and have them clean up the park and pay the money to fix it. My son’s a junior at Mamaroneck, and he’s told me more than once about vicious bullying in his school from upper and underclassmen, people he’s almost certain are behind the destruction at Manor Park. I just want this matter cleared up, and I want these MHS offenders brought to justice. What I really want is to have the gorgeous Manor Park to have never had this atrocity happen to it, but that is impossible.

  • MHS student

    A large percentage of the MHS students know that rye neck students trashed the park. Many are witness to it and it would be highly unfair for anyone from MHS to pay for the damages.

    If you are still not sure about who did it, ask the MHS student who had his jaw broken and subdued to surgery due to being attacked by ryeneck students at manor park that night

  • Concerned

    You can’t always take the opinions of either the MHS and RNHS students, seeing as they’d probably be biased, don’t you think? Kids now need places where they are able to come and hang out instead of roaming the streets looking for something to do, (which in this case, means causing trouble.) Maybe somewhere teens can pay a small fee, get their hand stamped, and hang out with a bunch of friends indoors. Fights don’t usually start for no reason. I have heard rumors of MHS students threatening RNHS students with knives, but I won’t voice my opinion on that. What’s done is done but DNA testing on the beer bottles around Manor Park is a great idea.

  • Don

    At this time, I believe it is premature to conclude definitively that it was Rye Neck High School or MHS students who are responsible for the destruction. Both angles, among any other options the police may be exploring, need to be pursued aggressively. Concrete evidence, not hearsay, needs to guide the investigation to the appropriate conclusions.

  • MHS student

    I am a student at Mamaroneck High School. I would like to let the community know that the students at MHS all know who did this. It is very clear that it was not done by students at MHS because we all love the park. The students at Rye Neck knew that by destroying the majestic manor park, ALL OF US in larchmont and Mamaroneck would be furious. Please, do not blame us students at Mamaroneck High for something we did NOT DO! For the junior who got injured, i offer you my support and know that myself and the students at Mamaroneck are all behind you.