SNOHOMISH — A Little League field was found in disarray on Sunday after people apparently squatted in its buildings and did drugs.
South Snohomish Little League President Amanda Titus said it was devastating. Over 300 kids participate in the league each year.
Titus said the field is her home away from home. Her daughter practically grew up there.
“It’s a place where children are supposed to feel safe and play ball,” she said.
The vice president of the organization was doing a quick check-in when she saw wood pried off the side of a building. The two-story structure, right next to the baseball diamond, is used to call games.
It turned out to be a makeshift side door. Inside, people had set up a living space. They used umpire pads as bedding and buckets for trash. Drug paraphernalia, food and trash were everywhere.
More damage was done elsewhere. People had scrawled nonsensical messages on the sides of buildings, defecated on the ground and burned a fire in a wheelbarrow.
A number of items were stolen, including tools, Titus said. The organization is still making an inventory of lost items to give to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
Seven buildings in total were damaged.
Titus said she was unsure how long people were staying inside the complex. The last events held at the field were in October. Board members try to check on the field every couple of weeks during the winter.
She believes the same people were responsible for taking parts off a lawn mower earlier in the fall.
Deputies have not identified any suspects yet, according to a spokeswoman for the agency.
As a small nonprofit that relies on donations, Titus said the organization is unable to cover the costs by itself.
“We don’t have any way to prepare for this,” she said.