EATON RAPIDS, Mich. — Police are investigating after over 40 razor blades were found placed around two popular neighborhood parks.
Eaton Rapids Police Chief Larry Weeks says officers responded on Monday afternoon to Howe Memorial Park on Howe Drive after a parent called 911 saying their child had found a razor blade inside of a playground slide.
"The children playing on the equipment had found a number of razor blades scattered about the area there at the park playground," Chief Weeks told FOX 17 Tuesday afternoon.
He said that some of the blades "appeared to be strategically placed on some of the equipment in an effort to possibly harm someone."
Police say that citizens were able to collect 39 razors before officers first arrived on scene. Those officers were able to locate an additional 2 blades at Howe Memorial Park.
Witnesses told the officers that they witnessed a group of teenagers heading north away from Howe Park shortly before they found the blades. They described the group as being about 17 to 18-years-old, with one of the boys having brown hair and one of the girls having blonde.
Other area parks were later checked by city workers for razors out of an abundance of caution. Chief Weeks says they found several additional blades laying in the grass at GAR Island Park.
"We're using roofing magnets that roofers commonly use to push across the ground, pull up any magnetized items that would be left on the ground," Chief Weeks said in regards to how the department is continuing to search the parks.
"We've done pretty thorough and visual inspections of the playground equipment that exists in the parks."
The City of Eaton Rapids has closed all public parks until further notice. A $1,000 reward is also being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved.
"Being that that's our primary park and lots of kids play there. You know, the people of our community are very, very upset and disturbed by this behavior, very frustrated with it," Chief Weeks told FOX 17.
"And as a father myself, it concerns me greatly as well."
Chief Weeks said that his department is already speaking with the Eaton County Prosecutor's office about potential charges once a suspect or suspects have been identified and arrested.
"We're talking about maybe an attempted assault charge, depending on... the seriousness of and maybe even upwards of an attempted felonious assault,” he said Tuesday.
“You would be looking at a significant felony, for assault, potentially, with intention to great bodily harm... a small child or somebody that couldn't withstand a blade like that, it could cause, you know, even death.”
Anyone who has any information about the incident or people involved is asked to contact Officer Richard Dover of the Eaton Rapids Police Department at (517) 663-8118 extension 8532 or via email at email@example.com.