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Lyndhurst Fountain Bubble Bath Prank Has Authorities Asking: What's Next?

Bubbles
Bubbles Photo Credit: COURTESY: Joyce DiMaggio

LYNDHURST, N.J. -- Police in Lyndhurst are concerned that media reports of bubble bath dumped into the fountain in the park outside Town Hall on Memorial Day might give other pranksters ideas.

"It's the end of the school year. Whether it's a fraternity or sorority or someone who had one too many drinks, we don't want a 'Can you top this?' " a police officer told Daily Voice. "And not just in Lyndhurst but everywhere.

"It can become commonplace when there's this kind of publicity."

Whoever was responsible struck after Monday's Memorial Day parade, pouring the agent into the lighted, 12,000-gallon pool and and its 30-foot sprays.

The same thing happened nearly two years ago.

It put some in mind of the steer that was stolen years ago from what had been Manero's Restaurant on Route 17 in Rochelle Park, among a number of similar pranks that authorities said some may find humorous unless they've had to deal with it themselves.

This time, borough officials had to wait a day to begin the cleanup: Doing it Monday would have meant overtime.

Estimates reported elsewhere of a $3,500 cleanup cost were incorrect, Commissioner Thomas A DiMaggio said.

"I don't know what the actual number is yet, but it's less," DiMaggio told Daily Voice. "I have to find out what the cost is for the filters and the water since we had to fill up the fountain three times to finally get rid of the residue. But it's definitely less [than $3,500]."

There's a single surveillance camera in the park, but its range has been questioned.

For that reason, DiMaggio said, "I am currently pricing a camera now."

Police would welcome it.

"In this day and age, we have enough to worry about keeping the public safe," an officer said. "They think it's funny to damage public property without realizing the time and money and manpower it costs to clean it up and to try and catch the people who are responsible."

For his part, DiMaggio said that the park "is seen by a lot of people. We don't want people trashing it."

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