Rebar damages city mower; police want to know who put it there

Published 10:52 am Tuesday, September 2, 2014

It isn’t unusual for a mower to run over something.
But when that “something” is a piece of rebar that appeared to be driven into the ground, that is unusual. Especially when a second piece is found on the same lot.
City police are investigating suspected vandalism at a vacant property that left the City of Elizabethton’s mowing equipment damaged.
On Aug. 28, Danny Hilbert, the city’s street and sanitation manager, told police a piece of mowing equipment had been damaged the previous day while city workers were doing property maintenance at the site of the old Carter County Memorial Hospital.
Hilbert told Elizabethton Police Department Capt. Joy Markland two city employees had been mowing at the site when one of the mowers ran over a piece of galvanized threaded metal protruding from the ground. The mower was damaged but the extent is not known at this time.
“Upon further inspection, (the employees) noticed that the object appeared to have been driven in the ground, intentionally leaving a large portion of the metal to be exposed,” Markland said in her report. “Based on its appearance and lack of weathering, it had not been subjected to the elements for any extended amount of time.”
Markland added that the employees searched the surrounding area and found another piece of steel rebar also protruding from the ground.
According to the report by Markland, the property had previously been maintained by using a bush hog, but last year the city began maintaining the property on a regular basis with mowers.
“When that occurred, the property was surveyed for any potential rocks, debris, or other hazards that needed to be removed,” Markland said.
One of the employees reported to Markland he had mowed the property on previous occasions, the most recently being about two weeks before the mower was damaged. He said the pieces of metal were not present in the ground at that time, Markland said in her report.

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