Vandals damage park hours before arts and crafts show

Vandals destroyed a local artisan event over the weekend. Danielle Jackson spoke with an organizer about the damage and how the community stepped up to help.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 7:01 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - An organizer of a local artisan event said vandals destroyed a tent, table and the field inside of the Red Caboose Park in Bellevue on Friday night.

Chandler Cartozzo and others placed four tents and tables in the park in preparation for the seventh annual Handmade Nashville Arts and Crafts show Saturday.

Cartozzo noticed Saturday morning her tent and table were damaged. She noticed several tire tracks in the grass believing the vandals hit her items with their vehicle.

“My tent was here, and the vehicle came and just rammed it and ran over it,” Cartozzo said.

Cartozzo was surprised and shocked that someone would cause harm just hours before the event.

“Then they took a knife to my canopy, then slashed it open, and took my table all the way out to the middle and ran over it with their car,” Cartozzo said.

She said the damage looked intentional.

“It wasn’t just like they accidentally ran into it once while trying to do donuts, it seemed like they intentionally came back with the knife and intentionally came back to take the table out and run over it. It was very disheartening,” Cartozzo said.

The event showcases a variety of handmade items, like Cartozzo’s jewelry business. There were 70 vendors in attendance.

She posted about what happened on Facebook and the local community group showed an outpouring of support.

“I was so humbled and overwhelmed to see so many community members say I have a tent you can borrow, I have some tables I can bring over. We’ll make sure to come and support your business and all the vendors there,” Cartozzo said.

She said the event went on as planned, but these types of disruptions are a setback for small business owners like herself.

“The tent is an expensive part of how I sell my handmade jewelry around town,” Cartozzo said. “To not only destroy a park that so many people love, but to intentionally damage the livelihood of artists, it’s inconceivable.”

Cartozzo said they’re hoping to get nearby surveillance video to figure out who’s responsible for this.

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