ATV riders damage soccer, lacrosse fields in Bensalem Township; investigation underway

BENSALEM TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Owners of a Lower Bucks County athletic club say the damage to their fields is extensive after ATV riders came through after the weekend snowfall.

With spring soccer and lacrosse just weeks away from starting, they are still hoping to get the fields ready in time.

Action News met up with Cindy Proll and her boys Monday morning, and after a few minutes with them, there's no denying this family is all about soccer.

"There's nothing else we'd rather be doing other than soccer and culture. It's who we are and what this land was destined to do," said Proll as she walked along the fields at Trifecta Sporting Club in Trevose.

"I like kicking the ball and scoring goals," said her 12-year-old son, Ryan.

The athletic fields have been there for decades, but the Prolls recently purchased the property. They've been working hard to rehab the fields. Then came the weekend snow.

The Prolls say ATV riders broke through the gate and did donuts on the fields.

"We do know that the sprinkler heads have been crushed, the irrigation that we replaced has been damaged, in addition to the grass itself. The germination we were expecting to take place through the soil samples has been impacted because the damage has been so deep to these fields," said Proll. "We're talking several thousand dollars. I mean the investment that's been put into this property has been significant."

Hugh Kelly, the boy's soccer coach for Archbishop Wood Catholic High School came over Monday morning to check out the damage. His team has used these fields for playoff games.

"They're trying to put a lot of improvements into the facility here. It's huge that it stays in this local environment for us. Things like this just puts a sour taste in peoples' mouths," said Kelly.

"The damage is done and we're doing everything we can to try and save the fields and open up on time," said Proll.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, it is illegal to ride an ATV on private property without the owner's permission, and in Bensalem Township, it's illegal to operate an ATV on public property, including roadways.

Anyone with information about this incident should contact Bensalem Township police.
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