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Family not letting slashed decorations ruin its Halloween

Tayla Jenkins, 9, hugs the inflatable dragon in her family’s front yard on West College Avenue. Over the weekend, all four of their Halloween inflatables were slashed. After being disappointed, the family decided to patch them and continue to decorate with holiday spirit.
Tayla Jenkins, 9, hugs the inflatable dragon in her family’s front yard on West College Avenue. Over the weekend, all four of their Halloween inflatables were slashed. After being disappointed, the family decided to patch them and continue to decorate with holiday spirit. adrey@centredaily.com

Five large inflatable Halloween decorations are hard to miss in front of a home on the 2100 block of West College Avenue.

What is easy to miss is the Gorilla Tape used to repair the inflatables after someone mercilessly slashed them, causing a new family to the area to feel violated and angered.

Suzie and John Jenkins said the decorations have been a hit with kids and families wanting to take pictures, especially with the 7-foot-tall dragon. But someone ruined the fun on Sunday night.

Suzie Jenkins said one was down at about 8 p.m. Sunday. They noticed a cut on the side and thought it might have been made by one of their dogs. Two hours later, they realized someone deliberately cut each of them.

“At the time I was mad, and then I really felt violated,” she said. “We kept them here in front, and we are up on a hill and kind of secluded. It scared my daughter terribly. I could hardly sleep because of the idea of somebody coming this close to our house. You always hear about how safe State College is and that crime is low, and then something like this makes us feel violated.”

“I had to tell my daughter,” John Jenkins said. “That was the biggest thing for me, because we had to see her bawling and crying. That was too much for me. I was getting really upset. She’s the biggest reason I did it.”

Suzie Jenkins posted her story to the Happy Valley Moms Facebook page and the outpouring of support was overwhelming.

“I just wanted to shut it down and have that be it. I didn’t expect that response,” she said. “Now, I want to cover every inch of grass with decorations. I want to invite everyone here for a big Halloween bash. We’re decorating, giving out candy and maybe we’ll do other things, too, on the night of trick-or-treating.”

There will be a few more additions to the home, the family said, in particular outside motion lights and cameras. They also hope to make a few new friends.

“That’s the greatest thing,” John Jenkins said. “(Suzie) can befriend more people and we can be able to be more social with everyone around the area. Something really good came out of something bad.”

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli

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