CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Across the Front Range, vandalism at local parks has forced closures or limited hours. The latest case in Castle Rock has left the town with a hefty price tag.
The Mitchell Gulch Park in Castle Rock is closed to the public right now for renovations. Unfortunately, that did not stop someone from causing massive damage.
"This isn't typical vandalism. This is more out of the norm," said Commander Mark Galvan with the Castle Rock Police Department.
Once on June 25 and a second time the weekend of July 28, vandals did approximately $11,000-worth of damage to the new concrete-plumbed bathroom under construction at the park. The destruction seems to be just for the sake of being destructive.
"They poured some type of liquid down there that was similar to epoxy. Basically down the toilet, down the plumbing of the sink and clogged some of the pipes," explained Brian Peterson, park planning and construction manager for the Town of Castle Rock.
The vandals stabbed the water heater, ripped water fountains off the wall and smashed them, broke through a utility door and smashed off the backflow preventer.
"The water continued running for a couple of days before anyone got out here," said Peterson. "When you try and provide for the community what they want, and we can't even get the park built. And then you come in on a Monday morning and it gets destroyed, it's really frustrating."
Castle Rock Parks and Recreation said building a restroom with plumbing was something the neighborhood asked for. Now they need to tap into their contingency fund to fix it.
"Contingency isn't for vandalism. Let's be honest, contingency is for unforeseen conditions such as rain, unforeseen rock that we had to bring in, a special breaker to break through," explained Peterson. "Or slight design changes or added amenities to make the park even better if we have money left over. It's not for wasting funds to repair something that we already paid for before we open the doors to the neighborhood."
With thousands of taxpayer dollars being wasted on damage, the consequences are serious, felony charges.
"Sometimes people don't think about their actions. And what may seem to minimal to them is a significant felony crime that can impact somebody's life for a long time," said Galvan.
If you have any cameras that may have caught anything out of the ordinary on those days, please get in touch with Castle Rock PD at 303-663-6100. The department is also asking parents to speak with their children to see if they heard of saw anything related to the damage.