FLINT (WJRT) (2/24/2020) - Investigators have several images of a the car and SUV that did doughnuts on the Berston Field House basketball court on Saturday, ruining the playing surface.
Investigators say vandals in a car and an SUV did doughnuts on the Berston Field House basketball court, causing significant damage.
Bryant Nolden, who is executive director of the Friends of Berston group, said surveillance camera footage shows the vandalism taking place around 11 p.m. Saturday.
The facility has several surveillance cameras, so Nolden said police have several images of those responsible. They are not sure how many people were inside the vehicles during the incident.
Flint Police Department Det. Sgt. Tyrone Booth said the vandalism investigation is a high priority for the department.
"We are following up on several leads at this time and feel we will make an arrest on the individual(s) responsible,” he said in a statement on Monday.
Crime Stoppers, Nolden and Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley are offering up to $2,000 combined for information leading to whoever is responsible for the damage. Call 1-800-422-JAIL to leave an anonymous tip.
The damaged court was installed for $40,000 in 2019 thanks to a grant from the National Basketball Players Association. The outdoor court has springs inside, making it kid-friendly.
The contractor who installed it will assess the damage on Tuesday. Nolden hopes to have repairs completed this spring.
Regular visitors are the facility were disappointed about the vandalism on Monday as they surveyed the damage.
"Be down here every day to make sure the kids get to play safe and not worry about people bothering them. And for them to come down here and tear this basketball court up is, ooh it's very upsetting," said Terry Key, who a a member of the self described Morning Crew.
They try to keep a close watch on the facility.
"The people who did this -- we will find out who did it and everyone is upset about it and they're not happy," Key said. "This is our community, this for our kids. So I hope it's on your conscience."
Berston Field House is an important part of Flint's rich history. It opened in 1923 and was the first community center in Flint available to African Americans.
Berston closed in 2002 until a group of volunteers revived and reopened the center.
Olympic champion boxer Claressa Shields trained at the facility.
In February, Neeley signed a 25-year lease extension with the facility and declared Feb. 13, "Berston Field House Day" in Flint.