Cape Girardeau park’s sand volleyball courts closed due to hidden knives

By Jasmine Adams | May 21, 2019 at 10:16 AM CDT - Updated May 21 at 6:18 PM

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A local volleyball player is speaking out after four knives were found buried in the sand court at the Arena Park.

According to Sgt. Joey Hann with Cape Girardeau Police the sharp objects were discovered by two teenage girls who were playing at the double court area just off the Cape LaCroix trail Monday evening, May 20.

Sgt. Hann says the teens gave police two of the knives, and the other two were thrown away upon being discovered.


One of the girls had a small cut on her foot that did not require medical attention.

After the knives were found the courts were immediately closed to all patrons.

Leaders with the Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department say it’s the only public sand volleyball court in town and its used almost every day.

Tony Rushing plays on an adult co-ed volleyball team, and he feels like the dark discovery has compromised the safety of the family play area.

“It hit pretty deep because that is my stress reliever in Cape Girardeau after work,” Rushing said. “We all have full-time jobs and families so that is our way out of real life.”

Rushing says it's devastating that the knives were found just beneath the playing surface with their sharp edges pointing up.

"Just stepping on the sand now you'll have to second guess yourself,” Rushing said. “You won't be as free out there as you want to because you used to do all this crazy stuff because it's sand you can do anything in sand and now it's like what could be in there. So you're kind of hesitant to play out there now."

Police are investigating after knives were found buried in the sand volleyball courts in Cape Girardeau. (Source: Nathan Ellgren/KFVS)
Police are investigating after knives were found buried in the sand volleyball courts in Cape Girardeau. (Source: Nathan Ellgren/KFVS) (Source: Nathan Ellgren/KFVS)
Recreation Coordinator Cassie Dennis says park staff spent the day Tuesday, May 21 sweeping the courts with rakes and metal detectors.

“Our best safety measure is to continue to rack and evaluate before each game,” Dennis said. “If you ever see anything suspicious activity at any of our parks, facilities, anything please let the department know or police so we can take care of it as soon as possible.”

Dennis says they don’t have security cameras overlooking the court, but the parks department is starting to consider putting one in.

“We just want a way to track, so we can see if something is being put in the sand. Who is in and out of the courts,” Dennis said. “That way we have a better lead on what might have caused this or why someone would do this.”

Rushing says he still plans to play sand volleyball at the court when things return to normal.

"Don't let the hatred get you down because the person who did this isn't going to win in my opinion if we go out there play,” Rushing said. “If we close the whole court down and never play then they won they battle, so we have to win the battle from them."

Park leaders canceled all sand volleyball games this week, and the court will remain closed until it’s deemed safe.

“Our goal is to have it back open by next week for volleyball league,” Dennis said. “But if we do come across anything in the courts the rest of this then we may have to have them closed a little bit longer.”

Copyright 2019 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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