LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Some families in the Herty Park area of Lufkin are concerned over an increasingly violent scene at the park. They say it's become so bad, their parents have banned them from playing at the park.
Valerie Fernandez and her younger sister love soccer. This summer, they've had to move their game from the Herty Park soccer field, located right behind their house, to their front yard.
"I used to go a lot and we could go and play like soccer and kickball," said Valerie Fernandez, age 10.
Their mother, Perla, said she's banned her daughters from the park. She has some serious concerns.
"[I'm concerned] with the racing and fighting over there at the Herty Park," said Perla.
Valerie said she's witnessed several fights. "Sometimes they fight like right there in the road and a lot of people start coming out of their houses and started watching and started taking pictures."
Down the street, Valerie's friend, Emily Dehoyos, is also scared of playing in that park.
"A lot of things happen through here, like a lot of things happen in the park like fights and stuff like that," she said.
"They can't even go out to the park you know and have a little fun friends," said Perla.
Detective J.B. Smith said officers do patrol the area on a daily basis. He said most fights in the park are not reported to police. "We receive plenty of calls for service there and the calls for disturbances in the park in the summer go up as well," he said.
Until the fights stop, Perla said she'll keep a closer watch on her little girls.
"I know there's other mothers concerned out there too and I know they would want for everything to be okay again," said Perla.
Only then will the Fernandez sisters move their game back to an open space.
Police urge neighbors to call 911 if they witness fights or anything suspicious. They also said parents should talk to their children about the consequences of fighting.