West El Paso neighborhood sick of costly fly baseballs
For many batters, it’s a dream to hit a home run and knock the ball out of the park. Sometimes, though, those hits can cause more harm than good.
“We've gotten tables broken here, some windows, windows from our cars. Our cars are damaged from either the hood or the rooftops because they hit by baseballs every weekend or even during the week,” Nancy Nava said.
Nava's home lies in the shadow of Lambka Park where teams practice.
“We got an estimate done over the roof and they say most of the damage is from the baseballs so the insurance won't cover it,” Nava said.
Nava contacted the CBS4 Problem Solvers for help. We hit the streets and found multiple neighbors experiencing similar problems.
“I'm retired and I made this my retirement home. The only problem is we are bombarded with baseballs constantly,” Christian Berlit said.
Christian and Thanh Berlit keep a stack of shingles close by because their roof is constantly battered by baseballs.
It's not the little leaguers they're worried about.
“The little boys really don't shoot balls way over the top but it's the bigger ones that do. And every time it becomes a shooting match, we get hurt,” Berlit said.
They tell us they've tried talking to the adults -- some who coach -- others who play on their own.
“All I get is, 'That doesn't really concern us. We have a right to play here' and that's it,” Berlit said.
Nava says she contacted the city's parks and rec department.
“But they told me they needed a police report. And whenever this happens and I call the police, they tell me they can't really do anything or give me a police report because it's not intentional vandalism against a house,” Nava said.
The CBS4 Problems Solvers took the concerns directly to parks and rec. A spokesperson said they didn't even know there was a problem.
“This is the first I've heard of it,” Andrea Schiechl said.
Schiechl is the recreation programs manager for the city.
She says the park is open to the public, which makes it harder to find those responsible.
“From my end, I need a time and date when it's happening. If it's happening continuously, if they see if it's practice or games, so that we can address it with the appropriate individuals,” Schiechl said.
Neighbors want to make the fence taller.
Schiechl says it's not that easy.
“It's about the infrastructure as well so it requires a lot more planning rather than just putting up a fence because of the height requirement,” Schiechl said.
Neighbors also want more signs to keep adults off the kids' fields.
“We can address that and put it in the permit requirements so when people reserve it, they know what size field they have. Unfortunately, because it is open, it's hard for us to be able to address,” Schiechl said.
Parks and rec gave us a number to call if you have the same problem. You can call them at (915) 212-0398 or (915) 212-0092. That way they can at least try to monitor the fields.
If you have a problem and would like CBS4 Problem Solvers to look into call our hotline at 915-833-4411.