Youth football coach says he will pray for man who vandalized field

Youth football coach Robert Kelly surveys the newly-seeded field at Malandra Hall and then takes a look at the man now charged with making those repairs necessary.

"Shame. Sheesh! He's young. You know, he just ruined his life."

Camden County Police have charged 28-year-old Alexander Peters of Gloucester City 77ith deliberately driving his pickup truck on the rain-soaked football field the Sunday before last.

He topped off the vandalism by spray-painting a swastika on the concession stand. Police say security cameras on the nearby community center and media reports like ours led to numerous tips.

Sgt. Janell Simpson with the Camden County Police Dept. said, "We brought the suspect in to be interviewed and he confessed to driving his personal vehicle on the football field, damaging the property, and spray painting the swastika."

Police say Peters was already behind bars-sentence last Friday to three years for an unrelated aggravated assault case.

Now add to that criminal mischief- an act that deprived Camden kids of a safe place to play, and a symbol of hatred left behind for young and old to see.

But Coach Kelly says his players- age 5 to 14- have already moved past the vandalism. As for his message to Peters?

"All I could do is pray for the guy. That's it."

"You would pray for him?"

"Yeah I would pray for him. He still a human-- he is still our brother at the end of the day. He might have did something stupid like that-- everyone's entitled to make mistakes. Just hope that he feels it in his heart that he did something stupid and overcome it. That's it."