Table incinerated at Dockton Park

The table was destroyed sometime overnight betweenSaturday, Dec. 30 and the following Sunday.

A table at the Dockton Park playground was incinerated just before the new year, disappointing families who had just started using the facilities at the brand new playground.

Vashon Fire & Rescue chief Matt Vinci said the department believes the table was destroyed sometime overnight between Saturday, Dec. 30 and the following Sunday.

The department documented the scene and contacted the King County Sheriff’s Office, Vinci said. So far, no cause has been determined, and the fire agency didn’t observe any other damage to the park, Vinci said.

“Deputies were sent to investigate this incident and it appears that there is no evidence that would have indicated how the fire was started,” King County Sheriff’s Captain Chris Leyba said in an email. “In the past 30 days we have no other reported vandalisms in our system on Vashon Island. It appears this was an isolated event but we always encourage citizens to call if they observe what appears to be vandalism or any other criminal activity.”

The table’s destruction and the law enforcement response to it was disappointing and frustrating for Morgan Preston, an upper Gold Beach resident who visits Dockton Park regularly with his five-year-old son. The table’s destruction came only two weeks after the unveiling of the brand-new playground at the park.

“We’ve been waiting for this thing to open up … and then we get down there, and it’s already torched,” Preston said.

Preston said he found remnants of toilet paper all around the table after its destruction, which might link its burning to previous toilet-paperings around the island. He suspects the incidents are from the same or a related group of miscreants.

“(It doesn’t) take a genius to figure out what started it,” he said.

Vandalism on the island is being “brushed underneath the carpet,” Preston said, and will continue as long as there continues to be little accountability for those responsible. The sheriff’s office needs to do more, he said, and in the meantime he wants to help improve security at the park or find the person or persons who may be responsible for the table’s burning.

“There’s no enforcement whatsoever out here,” he said. “… We gotta be more proactive. It’s not going to slow down, especially since no one’s policing.”