First, the so-called “Knockout Game,” now strategically placed razor blades intended to hurt children. Police in Illinois and Pennsylvania are reporting April Fools' gags gone horribly wrong and are advising parents to keep a look out for any sharp objects taped to playground equipment.
Just last week, Illinois residents Sally Jenks and Jayson Kenney took their son Madden to Millennium Park in East Moline, when a day of fun turned into a dreadful realization of what lengths the psychologically unstable will go to for kicks. After hearing the 2-year-old shout, “ouch,” Kenney took Madden off of his shoulder to find blood running down his fingers.
When the couple inspected the monkey bars their son was playing on, they came across a gruesome sight: razor blades intentionally placed on the handle bars. And that’s not all: razor blades glued to other sections of playground equipment, which were discovered during a second search of the area.
“They were on the monkey bars, the rock-climbing wall, the fire pole, the bottom of the slide. Just everywhere,” Jenks told WQAD. “I was so upset. It could have been horrible. It could have sliced his hand open completely, if he was older and he was really swinging on the monkey bars and grabbed it. He was just lightly touching it. If he was older, it would have mutilated his hand.”
It would be disturbing enough if Jenks and Kenney’s nightmarish experience was an isolated incident; however a similar occurrence has now been reported in a town near Philadelphia. Parents in Brookhaven, Pa., have been warned by Delaware County police to conduct their own search of their playground after razor blades were found duct-taped to equipment at Eaton Park by city maintenance staff.
“Parents are being warned to check the equipment due to the fact that some thoughtless criminal had duct taped some razor blades to the equipment that could have caused injury to children playing in the area,” read a statement issued on the Brookhaven Police Facebook page. “Please warn your older unescorted children as well. All the parks have been checked as of 4pm Tuesday 4/1/2014 and are clear. This is an active investigation, and parks will be checked by both Patrol Officers as well as Plain clothes Officer on every shift.”
Thankfully, no injuries have been reported due to this most recent episode of shameful vandalism. Although both incidents have been confined to these two areas, parents should conduct a thorough check of areas their child may be playing in. NFL player Julian Vandervelde has offered a $1,000 "bounty" for any information pertaining to the individuals responsible for this heinous crime.