After investigating an incident in which a playground swing was rigged with fishing hooks, the Platte Police Department determined the vandalism was a "lapse in judgment."At approximately 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, a man was about to place his young granddaughter into a baby swing when he looked inside and noticed there were fishing hooks along the inside of the seat, fastened with fishing line. Four hooks were tied to the swing seat, two on the left side and two on the right.
The Police Department in this small south-central South Dakota of about 1,250 people said the party responsible was a "very young" juvenile, and the situation was a "lapse in judgment rather than a despicable prank." There is no further threat to anyone, according to the department.
According to Platte Police Chief Brandon Semmler, a tip from a person present at the time the hooks were placed led to the identification of the subject, whose identity and age are not being released.
"For what it's worth, when we received the initial tip, we thought there may be ill intentions, too," Semmler said. "Until we got to the bottom of it, it was blatantly clear there wasn't."
The incident occurred at the town's South Park, according to the Platte Police Department, and no other swing or equipment was found to be tampered with.
The initial post about the incident on the Platte Police Department's Facebook page piqued the interest of thousands.
In less than 24 hours, the post had been shared more than 8,300 times and received nearly 1,000 comments from people expressing concern and frustration.
And, though the incident is considered a "closed case," Semmler said, the attention isn't necessarily bad.
"We were kind of taken aback to see just how much attention it has gotten," Semmler said. "Quite frankly, it's a good thing. Not that anybody would be in favor of malicious intent, but with as much criticism as that received, it was nice to see people are genuinely concerned about the welfare of others."