WARREN - Blessed Sacrament Church reported $300 in damage to its lawn after several unknown drivers became stuck in the soft ground near the parking lot and drove through the yard for no apparent reason.
Giovane Ciuba, who has worked as maintenance staff at the Reeves Road N.E. church for seven years, said this is by far the worst lawn damage he has seen at the church, noting that drivers commonly run into a telephone pole near one of the church's driveways.
The criminal damaging report filed with the Warren Police Department says the damage occurred between Dec. 13 and 14 and estimates the sod at a cost of $300.
Tribune Chronicle / Margaret Thompson
Giovane Ciuba points out where a vehicle was towed from Blessed Sacrament Church’s lawn. He estimates that all of the damage will cost about $1,000 to fix.
Photo by Margaret Thompson
Ciuba said the labor that will go into rolling out the land and bringing in fill dirt in several areas will increase the cost to nearly $1,000. He pointed out two locations where cars had to be towed from the mud they had created.
On Dec. 13 there were several events at the large church complex including a school play and a basketball game. Ciuba said parking was tight but that there was no occasion for vehicles to be parked so far into the lawn. The cars were towed in the evening before church officials could discover the culprits.
Ciuba also showed the tire marks left from a driver who apparently drove into the church's lawn from the street, drove around several trees and then back to the street from which it came. He thinks it was probably a young person out for a joy ride.
"You know, got a new truck, got to try it out," Ciuba said.
According to Joann Gilbert, who filed the report, the damage seemed intentional and unrelated to the events happening at the church. She said she was disappointed that no one bothered to call the church the next day to apologize.
Ciuba said the next step they will take is to call AAA to see if they can trace the towing companies that responded to the stuck vehicles.