Memorial Tree, Bench Vandalized at West Hartford School - NBC Connecticut

Memorial Tree, Bench Vandalized at West Hartford School



    The memorial tree located outside the Duffy Elementary School in West Hartford was destroyed over the weekend. (Published Monday, Nov. 11, 2013)

    Vandals cut down a memorial tree at Duffy Elementary School in West Hartford over the weekend and damaged a park bench.

    Police responded to the school at 95 Westminster Drive at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday when the damage was reported.

    The 15-foot tree had been planted in memory of former elementary school student Connor M. Sorensen, 10, who died in 2011 in a tubing accident in Vermont.

    Police said the tree was cut down ad dragged to a basketball court, and the plaque with Sorensen's name on it was damaged.

    "A local neighbor saw the tree, that it was concerning, and didn't want other kids to see it with school coming up and pulled it onto their property," said West Hartford police Sgt. Eric Rocheleau.

    The vandals also split a park bench in half, according to police.

    Police said it happened between 3 p.m. on Friday and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

    Neighbors said children play basketball at the school every day.

    "We're hoping it was just random kids," Rocheleau said.

    Officials said they plan to repair the memorial.

    The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information or who has seen suspicious activity in the area is asked to call West Hartford police at 860-523-5203.

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