In the blazing summer heat, the WaterWorks Waterpark in Prince William County, Va., is a popular spot for local families to cool off.
“It means a lot to us,” said Joshua Tiede, who took his family. “We were actually driving all the way to Kings Dominion using their water park, but this is something that’s so convenient for us. It’s only about a mile drive, and the price is right.”
But in the past week, someone has been vandalizing the pool to the point where last weekend it was completely shut down.
“I think that’s horrible,” said 19-year-old Danielle Coles, who went with her church group. “People have childhoods here, memories here, and it’s an open place for everyone to come. And for someone to vandalize it, I think that’s really rude.”
Police said it first happened sometime after closing the night of July 30, when vandals threw anything in sight -- including deck chairs, tables and frozen food from the kitchen -- into the pool. The cleanup effort, including lost revenue, cost the county almost $25,000.
On Wednesday night, it happened again, police said. While the damage wasn’t as bad, authorities are trying to find out who would do this.
“It’s just beyond frustration, why someone would want to do this to the community,” said Prince William County Recreation Services Director Tracy Hannigan. “This isn’t about the park, it’s about the community impact and that’s what’s unfortunate.”
The water Park will not comment about what video surveillance is in place, but says since the first incident a full review of the security measures has been done.
Both times the vandals broke into the park the alarm system wasn’t tripped, authorities said. They believe the vandals are sneaking through the surrounding trees at night, then helping each other climb over the 8-foot fence.
“Unless we sat someone at night, there is no full-proof, 100 percent that nobody would get over the fence,” said Hannigan. “What we’ve done since the last issue is if that person wants to come back and try, they’ll see what enhancements we have put in place.”
And until the vandals are caught, the water park is asking the community to keep its eyes open and call police if you see something suspicious.