EUGENE, Ore. — A local boxing gym in Springfield had its windows smashed late Wednesday night.
This type of incident hasn’t happened before, but other acts of vandalism have, and the owner of the Northwest Training Center believes it may be linked to something of his past.
“They’re not going to even get me to stumble on this one. This doesn’t do anything to me,” said Gerald Strebendt, NW Training Center Owner.
Strebent isn’t even phased by what happened Wednesday night at his boxing training center. He says even though there have been efforts to make Springfield safer, there’s still crime. And when he got a call from the police around midnight, he wasn’t shocked.
“They said, ‘Well we hate to tell you this, but you’re missing one of your big front windows. It’s shattered out and your whole place is a disaster.’ And I just said, ‘Cool,’” Strebendt said.
That might not be the reaction you’d expect, but he says there’s been pattern of suspicious behavior the last few weeks and almost views it as a challenge.
“I don’t know if they’re targeting me or I could have some deranged fan. I don’t know. My girlfriend said I’m like a bacteria. Every time I get attacked I’m just stronger,” Strebendt said.
He thinks it could be someone connected to a person he helped send to jail 10 years ago. The man went to jail for a murder for-hire case in California, but Strebendt says that man has Oregon connections.
But whoever it is, the community at Northwest Training Center says they’re strong.
“I was ready to pull a watch out of the roof last night or sit in here and do whatever it took to keep our place safe. Personally, I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of hours here. This place really means a lot to me, and I just wasn’t very happy about people coming and breaking the windows like that,” said Nathan Wallner, NW Training Center Boxer.
KEZI 9 News contacted Springfield police for any leads in the case, but they weren’t available for comment.
Even though the vandals broke the windows, they didn’t steal anything inside.