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Hundreds of tires slashed at Springfield van transportation company

Hundreds of tires were discovered slashed Monday morning at an Indian Orchard business that provides transportation for children and families in need.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 7:03 AM EDT|Updated: May. 16, 2022 at 4:47 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Hundreds of tires were discovered slashed Monday morning at an Indian Orchard business that provides transportation for children and families in need. The incident impacted dozens of vehicles and now, the community is stepping up to help.

Youth on the Move employees have been at their Springfield facility for close to 12 hours, hard at work, following a surprising and extreme act of vandalism. They’re trying to get the vans back on the road to the people who need them most.

“God says I have to forgive, but it’s really hard when I have my children who needed services today,” said Janice Brown, owner of Youth on the Move.

When Brown and her staff at Youth on the Move arrived to work Monday morning, they found 45 vehicles with slashed tires in the parking lot. She told Western Mass News in over two decades of work, she’s never seen anything like it.

“We have to stop this and police have told me if they come back wants to come back again,” Brown noted.

The Springfield business provides transportation services for children and families with critical needs, including people with autism, physical challenges, those needing rides to doctor’s appointments, and more. We’re told at least 15 people in the community were without rides on Monday.

The crew has been hard at work making sure the vans are back up and running as soon as possible.

“Trying to get these cars fixed is my number one priority because tomorrow, I want to say to that parent ‘It’s okay, I’m there,’” Brown noted.

Brown is feeling the support from the whole community, as well as a handful of local tow companies and auto body shops.

“I was going to come over here myself and start taking the tires off,” said Patrick Oliver of Chicopee.

Matt Minnie with Main Street Auto added, “All morning long. Usually Mondays are rough, but today was something else that’s for sure.”

Minnie said he’s already switched out well over 20 tires for Youth on the Move.

“It’s not all about money all the time, just be there for them,” Minnie said.

The incident remains under investigation by the Springfield Police Department.

COMING UP AT 6 P.M. ON ABC40: How the timing of this vandalism is being called into question, with some calling it a potentially racist act.