AP NEWS

Scranton High Baseball Coach Reports Car Vandalism

May 23, 2019

As an early birthday gift, Jamie Higgins’ wife surprised him with a gift certificate to get his SUV professionally detailed.

Later Tuesday, the Scranton High School baseball coach discovered someone carved “this coach sucks” into the passenger side of his 2015 Toyota 4Runner.

“You get angry at first,” Higgins said. “Then you wonder what you did that could get someone that angry. Anyone who does that has got to be really angry.”

Higgins was leaving a baseball game against West Scranton at Battaglia-Cawley Field in West Side when he saw the vandalism.

Higgins, who got to the field around 3 p.m. Tuesday, filed a criminal mischief report with Scranton police, said Capt. Dennis Lukasewicz.

Lukasewicz said there were no cameras in the area. Anyone with information about the incident can contact Scranton police at 570-348-4134.

Having coached baseball and football for 22 years, you come to expect some criticism, “but you don’t expect them to cross the line like this,” Higgins said. “I guess I’m more upset than I am angry because I really do make it a point to treat these kids like they’re my own.”

Whoever did it took their time, Higgins said. The scratches are “really deep; it’s really ground in.”

Repainting his SUV will cost thousands of dollars, he said.

“I’m always washing it, waxing it, taking good care of it inside and out,” Higgins said. “It’s my first brand new car.”

Unsure if it was a parent, kid or disgruntled fan, Higgins posted the damage on Facebook in hopes of finding out who did it. With more than 800 shares, he received an outpouring of support from fellow coaches, parents, students and other members of the community, he said.

“It’s overwhelming,” he said. “It makes you know that what you’re doing — the way you coach, the way you teach — you’re doing it the right way. You’ve impacted their lives. That’s been the one positive.”

One of those messages was from Christine Wesolowski. Higgins spent the past four years coaching her son, Jake, and he previously coached her son, Matthew.

“I think he was a great coach,” she said, calling him knowledgeable and professional. “My kids loved him.”

For someone to vandalize his SUV, “I thought it was terrible,” Wesolowski said.

“You don’t just express your displeasure to somebody by destroying something,” she said

KATHLEEN BOLUS, staff writer, contributed to this report.

Contact the writer:

flesnefsky@timesshamrock.com;

570-348-9100 x5181;

@flesnefskyTT on Twitter

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.