SORRENTO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Officials in Lake County said vandals cut up more than a dozen of soccer nets, and it didn't stop there.
"I was numb," said Lisa DuRant, director of the Lake County Soccer Club. "Later, it kind of felt like a knife to my heart."
It was actually a knife to 16 small soccer goals used by children. Overhead netting was slashed, and mesh fencing panels were cut. DuRant said sponsor panels were sliced up, too.
"Why would someone come in and tear up a county park?" she asked.
Lake County Parks Manager Bobby Bonilla said it could take up to two weeks and cost up to $10,000 to fix or replace everything. Bonilla said some 500 square feet of slashed netting has to be repalced.
Bonilla said, "You just can't patch up that area. You have to replace the netting in large sections."
A county parks worker discovered the damage Saturday morning,
DuRant explained, "It's essentially stealing from children in our community."
The netting and fencing is county property. The goals and banners belong to the soccer club. At first, DuRant thought they'd lose 10 kids' sports scholarships to pay for the damage. But thanks to social media and word of mouth, she said they've raised almost $1,000, overnight.
"We had all of the costs covered for those nets, and even a little bit of money to go towards the banners. So. we're looking OK now."
DuRant said new nets are already ordered, and a group has volunteered to put the goals back together. The next kids soccer game will go on as planned a week from Friday.
In the meantime, the Lake County Sheriff's Office is investigating.
"Hopefully the Sheriff's Office can get to the bottom of this," Bonilla said.
Sergent Jim Vachon, with the Lake County Sheriff's Office, said they do not have any suspects, and they are hoping someone phones in a tip.
If you have information, you're asked to call Crimeline or call the Sheriff's Office at 352-343-2101.