Family finds fishing line strung up at playground in Taft

Family finds fishing line strung up at playground in Taft

TAFT, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Neighbors in Taft are worried about kids' safety after finding fishing line strung up on playground equipment in Veterans' Park. Taft police said they got reports about this hazard and something similar at the bike path, and they're investigating.

Ashley Asoau was at the park a few days ago, along with her aunt and uncle and their two toddler sons. Just as they walked up, the aunt got tripped up by the clear fishing line strung between two toys. That's when they started checking around before the little boys ran into it.

The family found the line stretched tight on the swing set, between rocking toys and on the play structure. Asoau said she thinks it was at a level very dangerous for small children.

"It could have got them in the neck or anywhere high," Asoau said. She described the plastic fishing line as green in color, and pretty thick. "When you have, like the sun hitting it and everything else, you can't see it."

Asoau said they found that line across nearly every opening of the kids play structure.

"There was some on each of the entries," she said. "Just tied right there, so when the kid runs up and is going for the slide or something, it would hit their face."

The family cut down all the fishing line they could find and told their friends to be careful. They'd also heard about similar vandalism at the Rails to Trails bike path in Taft.

Taft Police Lt. Peter Aranda said his department got a report about the bike path in late July, and they sent out extra patrols. Aranda said officers didn't find any of the fishing line, it had apparently been cut down by the person who called in the report.

He said they also just got a report about the incident at Veterans' Park. Aranda said he is also worried about the dangers. He said it's more than a nuisance, a child could trip and fall, or get hurt on the neck or face.

And, Aranda said whoever is putting up the fishing line "may not realize how serious this could be." He said whoever is responsible, could face misdemeanor charges.

Asoau has no idea who's behind the vandalism.

"I think it's ridiculous," she said. "You can find better things to do."

But, she said families don't have that many option for good things for kids to do. That's why she wants the parks to be safe.

"It's not OK to not feel safe in your own town to take your kids out to a park," Asoau said. "They shouldn't be worried about tripping on stuff that can really hurt them."

Taft police told Eyewitness News they would like any information about the fishing line incidents. They encourage the public to call them at (661) 763-3101.