When the fountain flowed flakes …

LYNDHURST —

Call it the case of the frothy fountain.

If you walked by the fountain in Town Hall Park in Lyndhurst during this past Memorial Day weekend and you thought you were seeing things, well, you weren’t.

“Somebody dumped a bunch of soap suds into the fountain,” Township Parks & Public Properties Commissioner Tom DiMaggio said last week. “And this is at least the second time in the past three or four years this has happened.”

Asked if the culprit was caught, the commissioner replied: “We don’t know who did it.”

Was it possible that this act of vandalism may have been related to the recently concluded municipal election campaign which featured what DiMaggio and Mayor Robert Giangeruso characterized as unnecessarily personal and abusive attacks?

DiMaggio said that there may be reason to believe that could be the case, judging from “some comments made on Facebook” recently.

“We’re going to have an investigation,” he said.

The commissioner said he first became aware that something was awry “when I was walking my dog at around 2 p.m. that Monday (Memorial Day, May 29) and I saw two kids hanging over the fence near the fountain and that’s when I saw all the suds. It got so high, it overflowed the fountain onto the ground.”

DiMaggio said he immediately alerted the police about the mishap.

“I had two guys (township employees) working on it,” he said. “Problem is the residue keeps coming back. Took them a day and a half to clear it.”

At the LPD, Det. Capt. John Valente confirmed that a report was filed with the police department on Memorial Day at 2:06 p.m. about the incident which has been listed as “criminal mischief.”

“Someone had spilled soap into the fountain, causing it to bubble,” Valente said, reading from the report. “The fountain was drained and re-filled [last Wednesday].”

Valente said the same prank “has happened in the past, at least once or twice.”

As of last week, Valente said the LPD had no suspects connected to the most recent caper.

Unfortunately, Town Hall Park hasn’t been the only target of vandals, so far this year.

On the night of March 16, township police were notified about someone having done damage to the lavatories at the Valley Brook Ave. athletic complex.

The toilet paper and soap dispensers were ripped from the walls and thrown around the room, paper was stuck down the commodes and damage was estimated at about $3,000, according to a police report filed at the time.

A police investigation, aided by footage captured by a surveillance camera, ultimately led to juvenile complaints of criminal mischief being filed against two township juveniles, ages 13 and 14.

The matter was referred to the Bergen County Juvenile Court.

Ron Leir | Observer Correspondent

Ron Leir has been a newspaperman since the late ’60s, starting his career with The Jersey Journal, having served as a summer reporter during college. He became a full-time scribe in February 1972, working mostly as a general assignment reporter in all areas except sports, including a 3-year stint as an assistant editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc. He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and came to The Observer shortly thereafter. He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having worked most recently with the Kearny-based W.H.A.T. Co. and plays Sunday softball in Central Park, N.Y.