LYNDHURST, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Pranksters dumped industrial strength detergent into a New Jersey fountain, turning it into a giant bubble bath on Memorial Day.
Parks and Recreation Commissioner Thomas DiMaggio said he was walking his dog around 2 p.m. Monday when he noticed “something very different” with the fountain outside town hall off Pine Street in Lyndhurst.
“I walked over there and it was filled with soap suds, overflowing with soap suds,” he told 1010 WINS.
It took two public works employees two days — approximately 18 hours — to clean up the mess. Bubbles overflowed onto the pavement.
Public works employee Brian Intindola said he had to use a firehose to wash it away.
“We had to drain the whole fountain out, flush it out with water,” Intindola told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
Bubbles overflowed onto the pavement, and Intindola had to use the high pressure of a fire hose to wash it away.
“It took two days, eighteen hours,” he said.
The Parks Department had to clean the water system multiple times.
Police say the vandals may have made a clean getaway but it’s no laughing matter.
“If it’s a joke, it’s a sick joke because you’re talking about a very expensive fountain. That fountain cost an excess of $200,000,” DiMaggio said. “To throw soap suds in there that can cause permanent damage to the filtering system, to the jets is very alarming to me.”
“It cost several thousand dollars and a lot of man hours to clean and repair,” Detective Sgt. Vincent Auteri said.
The incident is being investigated for criminal mischief.
No arrests have been made.
Police said they are reviewing surveillance video from multiple cameras in the park that is adjacent to the police station, Baker reported.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to at some point in the near future be able to locate who is responsible for such mischief,” Auteri said.
Other residents do not understand why someone would do such a thing.
“It’s just stupidity because the water is beautiful herself, it’s energy in nature,” Eva, a Lyndhurst resident, said.
“I think they should just sit down and enjoy the beauty of the fountain,” a resident named Eileen said.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. There was a similar incident last year and it may be some sort of senior prank, Baker reported.
“It’s terrible. We invested a lot of money into this park. The public safety director and I will make sure ordinances are enforced,” mayor Robert Giangeruso said.
The same two workers had to clean up last year’s mess as well.
If caught the perpetrator could face a fine of a couple hundred dollars.