Little League fields in NE Portland broken into, vandalized

Published: May. 1, 2022 at 10:13 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KTPV) – The Wilshire Riverside Little League Baseball fields in Northeast Portland are normally a paradise for little league players and families but recently they’ve been dealing with break-ins and campers using the dugouts as bathrooms.

“Someone had literally defecated inside of a paper McDonalds cup, multiple cups and the smell of urine and feces was pretty strong in there,” John Naekel, a coach and board member of Wilshire Riverside Little League, said. “A lot of open fires, burning garbage, some dogs, some unleashed dogs, some friendly dogs, some prostitution and solicitation, people coming and going being solicited as they’re walking out with their kids.” Naekel said the area has always dealt with issues but in the last six months things have gotten a lot worse.

“I just don’t want something bad to happen to anyone that’s a part of this and I don’t want anyone trying to take this into their own hands to try and make things better. I don’t want any friction between the folks that are living out there and the families that are coming here to train and play baseball,” he said.

Naekel even tried calling 911 for help.

“It took them nine hours to return my call. An officer returned my call and basically said I can’t do anything unless you have them actually on video doing it,” Naekel said. He said he contacted the city and mayor’s office multiple times but nothing has changed.

“Everyone points to everyone else and says that’s not our problem. That’s their problem, and we just keep getting no results,” he said. More than 500 kids play in the league and use the fields and it’s the 120 volunteers who have been left to clean up the mess left behind.

“We just don’t want something bad to happen and I don’t where there to be a dangerous or unsafe interaction with anyone that’s out there,” he said.

Fox 12 reached out to Mayor Wheeler’s office and is waiting to hear back.