MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The search is on for some heartless vandals who ruined several boats that belong to a South Florida charity.READ MORE: 1 Killed, 1 Injured Following Wrong-Way Crash On State Road 836
It’s another devastating setback for Shake-A-Leg Miami, which helps people with disabilities enjoy some time on the water.
The Criss Craft boat is more than 80 years old and it’s the pride and joy of John Beauregard, a volunteer with Shake-A-Leg Miami.
Beauregard loves to talk about the boat, which he’s spent time repairing over the years after acquiring it following a fall in a construction accident that left him a quadriplegic.
He says it “loves the bay, just eats up the bay” and is one of the few boats that elicits reactions from people on sailboats and motorboats.
These days the boat is a teaching tool, helping teach the kids and teens that come to Shake-A-Leg Miami about boat repair and hard work.
Shake-A-Leg says a vandal took aim at the boat on Sunday night, cutting deep scratches into the finish and slashing the boat’s seats.
“He was mad,” Beauregard said. “Poor man was in a rage. It’s not a scratch. It was vicious.”
Beauregard knows that the deep scratches and cuts to his beloved Criss Craft boat can be repaired…but that doesn’t make him any less angry that a vandal came through the Shake-A-Leg Miami facility Sunday night and damaged this boat and several others.READ MORE: Mother's Day Flowers May Be Hard To Come By This Year Due To Global Pandemic
“I’m more disappointed about the kids seeing it.,” Beauregard said. “They’d be heartbroken to see it cause they put their heart and soul in it.”
Shake-A-Leg is a non profit which has been a Miami institution for more than 25 years helping kids, adults and veterans with disabilities and others who want to enjoy sailing and boating.
The organization just recovered from major damage from Hurricane Irma and now this latest setback.
Several of their inflatables were also slashed and damaged and everyone here wants to know who could do such a thing.
“If we don’t catch somebody like that they just keep coming back,” Beauregard said. “It almost looks like he enjoyed it.”
Shake-A-Leg Miami filed a police report and are hoping for tips that leads to an arrest.
Right now their focus is getting back to work serving hundreds of campers this summer.
Shake-A-Leg Miami wants to raise money not only to pay for repairs to the boats that were damaged but also to pay for some much needed security upgrades.MORE NEWS: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Unemployment, Vaping Bills
If you want to help visit shakealegmiami.org.