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Memorial at playground for special-needs kids vandalized

Posted: Updated:
BRIDGEPORT -

A memorial at a playground for special-needs kids has been vandalized in Bridgeport.

Someone broke the wings off of Aaron's Angel, the heart of Beardsley Park’s playground and splash pad.

The Aaron’s Angel memorial honors Aaron Richardson, a disabled 9-year-old who passed away in 2008.

Aaron’s mother, Isabell Richardson, worked for years to establish the wheelchair-accessible playground. She discovered the broken statue Monday.

It’s not the first time there has been trouble. Last year, the angel was stolen, but police eventually tracked it down. Richardson says she wishes the person who did this could understand how much it hurts her.

City workers used steel rods to secure the statue after it was stolen and returned last year.

“Whoever did it must be very cruel,” says Richardson. “I have never in all my life seen anything like that. I've seen graves vandalized and everything, but an angel, nothing like that.”

Police have pledged to look for the culprit and help Richardson arrange repairs.

Richardson says she wonders whether more prominent signs explaining the playground’s mission might stop vandals in the future.

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