By Donna Beth Weilenman, Staff Reporter
Benicia is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the vandal who cut through 18 young tulip trees in a city park over the weekend.
One of the destroyed trees was tied to the city’s Tree City USA certification.
Urged by Ken Paulk, a Parks, Recreation and Cemetery commissioner who was outraged by the tree killing, the city’s Recreation and Community Services Department posted the reward using money from the city’s tree fund, said Mario Giuliani of that department’s Office of the Director.
One of the goals of that tree fund is education about trees, Giuliani said. “This will further bring the act of vandalism to light,” he said. “I wanted to share that upsetting news.”
“It’s a violent act, done against neighbors and the city,” Mayor Elizabeth Patterson said. She said the “sheer horror of this action” on its own might prompt residents to help track down the culprit, or for that individual to confess the crime to police.
“The reward is an incentive to do the right thing,” she said. “I have a lot of faith in this community.”
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