City hopes to catch person destroying trees at Montgomery Park

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque is trying to catch the person destroying trees at a city park.

It would appear someone is taking their anger out on the trees at Montgomery Park near Comanche and San Mateo, causing irreparable damage.

“We know it’s been going on for at least the last month,” Park Superintendent Mark Chavez said.

At least four trees in the park, of different species, are severely scraped up with knife marks.

Now, the city is trying to figure out who did it, encouraging neighbors and park-goers to call the city if they see something.

The destruction is so bad, Chavez says the lifespan of the trees in the park will likely be cut short, and that visible damage will appear in the canopy by next season.

Chavez compares it to cutting off circulation to a limb on your body.

“You’ve opened up a wound in this tree that prohibits the movement of nutrients down to the roots and the movement of water up to the canopy,” he explained.

The knife thrower is also intimidating park-goers.

Clifford Miles says he saw the guy in the act last Wednesday around noon while enjoying lunch at the park.

“It was very angry, what he was doing,” Miles said, describing the man’s demeanor as “aggressive.”

Miles recounted the man as an older white male with gray hair. At the time, he was wearing a white vest.

He says the man kept to himself, but Miles still called Albuquerque police over the weird behavior. He said officers didn’t immediately show up, and he had to leave before they did.

Chavez says the city is now working with officers to set up cameras, like the one that went up in the Bosque, to catch the guy — or at least deter him from doing it again. It’s a misdemeanor crime to damage city park trees.

“A tree isn’t something that we can just go and fix like we can fix turf or we can fix a playground,” Chavez said.

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