Esplanade vandalism is possible felony

Caitlyn Callahan

Kent City Police arrested two individuals suspected of damaging trees and shrubbery along the new Esplanade expansion Aug. 13.

According to the police report, the two suspects are charged with vandalism of government property. If damages to the government property are more than $1,000, those charges could increase to a fifth-degree felony charge, resulting in fines and prison time of up to one year.

Although the Esplanade expansion was constructed using state funds specifically for the city and the university, other parts of the project — including the new parking deck — were built with federal money.

Police said they also found footprints on the curve leading up to the archway over the Esplanade. They are working to increase security along the walkway to avoid further vandalism or injury.

“There will be regular patrols on the Esplanade by Kent State police, as well as city police, all present in that area,” said Lieutenant of Investigations Chris Jenkins. “And we always have a higher presence at the beginning of the semester.”

Jenkins said there are plans to install security cameras along the new Esplanade.

As an additional safety feature, the traffic lights on Haymaker Parkway were turned on Thursday.

Contact Caitlyn Callahan at [email protected].