Southampton Town Police have a mystery on their hands in Noyac after two nights of mischief in the last week yielded unpleasant surprises for residents making early morning visits to Long Beach.
Who exactly was responsible for overturning a portable toilet, garbage cans, a memorial railing and the poles that surround the lifeguard stand? Resident Bryan Downey reported finding these messes, along with the usual tons of trash he picks up on the beach every day, in the last week.
The overturned toilet and garbage he said he found — and photographed — last Thursday morning. He found the disturbed memorial and poles on Saturday.
The damage was discovered on what happened to be the mornings after the first two of the Sag Harbor Youth Resource Center’s summertime Teen Beach Nights. Mr. Downey didn’t point any fingers specifically, but he observed the disturbed areas were right around the areas where the Teen Beach Night recreational activities are typically set up.
“No one said or suggested it was them,” Mr. Downey said. “It just happened to be it was the same location. It doesn’t mean it was the program. Why they don’t put cameras there, I don’t know.”
Patti Byrnes, the director of the Teen Beach Nights, which is a supervised program on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for kids in grades six through 10 that requires registration of all who participate, said it was not possible the damage was done by any of the program’s teens. There are six adults watching them at all times, she said, and the kids are picked up by 10:30 p.m. The adults pick up all the trash that the kids leave behind, Ms. Byrnes said. About 30 teens attended the program last week.
“There’s literally no way that our kids could do it, and do it undetected,” she said. “It’s not from our group.”
She did, however, say they had a problem Wednesday night with an erratic driver who nearly crashed into the traffic cones marking the program’s space.
“She put screech marks right in front of us on the street,” said Ms. Byrnes, who said people oftentimes don’t respect the cones. “Nobody got a license plate because it happened so fast. She just threw it into reverse and peeled out of there.”
She said the program is hopeful for an increased police presence, and indeed, Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki stopped by on Friday night.
“In the time I’ve been here, a little over a year now, I was unaware of any complaints about vandalism or any kind of misconduct by the youth involved,” he said. “By the contrary, the reports I get is that it’s a very well run and beneficial program.”