BREAKING NEWS: Beach Benches Found!

For 2 days, Westporters grieved with Laurie Crouse over the loss of a Compo Beach bench dedicated to her husband.

Today, we can all celebrate!

This morning Westport Police — working with the Parks & Recreation Department — recovered Martin Crouse’s bench. It was in the channel, near Ned Dimes Marina.

Martin Crouse’s bench was found in this channel.

A closeup of the bench.


They found a second bench too. Spotted yesterday from afar by Tina Green, as she looked for birds, it had traveled all the way to Cockenoe Island.

A second bench recovered from Cockenoe Island

The plaque from the bench near Cockenoe Island had come loose. But it was found very close to the bench.

Both benches have been brought ashore. They’ll be cleaned, and put back in their honored spots.

The benches were probably thrown into the water as a thoughtless prank. Fortunately they floated for a while; they did not sink to the bottom.

Even more fortunately, our Police and Parks & Rec departments were there to help. Thank you, Chief Foti Koskinas, Deputy Chief Sam Arciola; your men and women, and the Parks & Rec crew.

If that doesn’t make you smile today, nothing will.

A closeup of Martin Crouse’s bench, this morning. (Photos/Courtesy of Westport Police Department)

24 responses to “BREAKING NEWS: Beach Benches Found!

  1. Kristin Schneeman

    Thanks to all involved! I love that our Police Department and Parks and Rec staff made this a priority on a weekend. And I hope we all have a better appreciation now of the meaning attached to many of those benches and their locations!

  2. Andrew Colabella

    To anyone asking or wondering.

    Video cameras can be found throughout compo beach on multiple buildings and locations.

    The area that they disappeared from also has a camera and footage I’m sure can be obtained to see if any vehicle or persons were in the area at the estimated time of disappearance.

    This is very OBVIOUS act of vandalism and destruction of town property.

    From 2008-2013 roughly I use to put these benches together with my co workers from Parks & Rec Maintanence Division. These benches are extremely heavy and bulky and need two people to carry or to even lift.

  3. Great news!

  4. Joyce Barnhart

    I am so pleased the benches were found. Now, with the same spirit that sought the benches, the Library needs to put up “The Wall”. It was thoughtless to an extreme that they believed a video representation would be just as good as the real thing.

    • bobbieherman

      I couldn’t agree more! So many people bought tiles to commemorate various events, thinking that the Wall would be there forever. It was not supposed to be temporary, nor were we told that it would be.

  5. S.A. Peterson

    Very nice news regarding both benches, but these acts were not “pranks.”
    While it will probably be impossible to find video evidence of the LOWLIFES
    in the act, everyone please do try.

  6. That’s great!

  7. Yay Westport!!!

  8. Diane Silfen

    Wonderful that they have been recovered…but how sad that it happened 😢

  9. Carol Buffinton

    Wonderful news! Thank you Westport police and Parks and Rec for finding my friend and colleague’s memorial bench. It made me grin from ear to ear. Yay Laurie!

  10. Good work!

  11. Candace Banks

    Happy uplifting news! Thanks to all who aided the recovery and to Dan for publicizing. I always read the plaques on every bench I come across. And am so glad there is a good ending to this story.

  12. Kudos to all involved who helped make for a happy ending.

  13. Great news that these memorials (more than just benches) were recovered and will be resurrected for the families! This was likely the work of immature vandals; they should be held accountable. There’s an important lesson to be learned from this.

  14. Amy Schneider

    Awesome News!

  15. Good news has been in short supply this year. Dan, this story is what our town needs more of. Thanks for championing the empathy that drives Westporters to put one foot in front of the other every day.

  16. Christina Lundell Baker

    So grateful Fiona’s memorial bench & plaque were found❤️
    Thank you, Westport PD and Park & Rec.

  17. Patricia McMahon

    Best news of the day .
    Well done Westport people

  18. Patricia McMahon

    Best news of the day !!!
    Well done Westport people👏🏻✨

  19. maryschmerker

    Such good news! We needed the uplift. Congratulations to a whole caring town.

  20. Bill Strittmatter

    Great news. But still looks like at least one bench is still missing so everyone stay on the lookout.

  21. Cristina Negrin

    Definitely vandalism needs to be investigated

  22. Great News!! Thanks Dan and thank you Westport PD and Parks and Rec for always having the back of our community. These benches mean so much to the families and friends of those who have had them dedicated. I wish the pranksters would’ve have “thought first” before doing what they did….hopefully these pranksters are reading this blog and will make smarter choices in the future when it comes to pranks

  23. Priscilla Hawk

    What would we do without you, Dan? You are our “watch over Westport”.