Atascadero playground for disabled children vandalized

Joy Playground rendering


A suspect or suspects vandalized an Atascadero playground designed for disabled children. [KSBY]

Joy Playground, located at Colony Park, is the only playground for disabled children in San Luis Obispo County. Earlier this week, the playground was found with broken fencing, food smeared on the ground and graffiti on equipment, said Sarah Sullivan, the co-founder of Parents of Joy.

The fencing that was vandalized had been erected to try to stop children who are on the autism spectrum from running away. Food being left on the playground was also causing concern among parents, in part because some children who use the playground have food allergies, Sullivan said.

Atascadero city officials said in a statement that the police department had not been contacted about the vandalism, but it will conduct an investigation. 

“This recent issue at Joy Playground was not reported to the Atascadero Police Department,” the city said in the statement. “There was a small amount of graffiti where chalk was used and a couple of bar rods missing from the fencing. Public works was notified, so it could be repaired. Once it is reported, it will be investigated further and PD will work from there to hold those accountable.” 

Officials say investigators will review surveillance footage from the area. Likewise, Atascadero officers do rounds around Colony Park and the playground in order to make sure it is safe.