East Carolina's Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium complex was vandalised over the weekend at a cost estimated at $35,000.

University police arrested an 18-year-old East Carolina freshman in connection with the incident and believe at least two more people were involved. The suspect was arrested when he returned to the stadium to retrieve his lost mobile phone which the police found on the field. According to police records the student was charged with breaking and entering, first-degree trespassing, three counts of injury to personal property and injury to real property. 

Lt. Chris Sutton of the ECU Police Department stated the incident occurred early Sunday. He also revealed the vandals entered the stadium and drove three Kubota utility vehicles, which had the keys in them, into two water fountains and into concession areas under the stands and left tire circles on the playing field, damaging the vehicles in the process.

Pirates coach Ruffin McNeil said: "That is our house, I just heard about it right before the press conference, and that is incredible to me. Why would anyone destroy our house?

"Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium is very precious to me having played and bled on the field. It is really disappointing that someone or some group of people would disrespect us and this university in that manner. It is unacceptable and disappointing that someone would do that to our field." 

The stadium's next scheduled date of use was this Saturday as East Carolina's football program are hosting Navy on Saturday for the schools' Military Appreciation Game.

Posted on 23/10/2012