Vandals caused an estimated $1,250 damage to the restrooms at Reese Park, 586 Clague Road, late last month.
A caller on Sept. 27 alerted police to the criminal damage, but police were unprepared for how much damage they found: broken mirrors, sinks, toilets and urinals and explicit writing on the walls.
“It looked like someone took a sledgehammer to everything,” police Chief Rob Gillespie said. “Everything porcelain was shattered, the door frame was broken and it was covered in graffiti.”
Gillespie said most of the damage occurred in the men’s room, but the women’s and family restrooms were also damaged.
Bradley Road Park restrooms were damaged as well but not to this extent.
“Over there it was more paper racks and soap dispensers damaged,” Gillespie said. “Nothing like the damage over at Reese Park.”
Gillespie suspects the incident may be the result of the “deviant licks” TikTok trend, which involves students taking videos as they steal soap dispensers or damage bathrooms and then post the videos on the social media app.
“Our detectives are investigating and monitoring social media to see if any videos come up,” Gillespie said. “We're working to narrow down the time frame for when the incident occurred.”
Bathrooms in Rocky River High School, the middle school and Kensington School were vandalized in what police said was also a result of “deviant licks”
The service department closed the Reese Park restrooms because they are unusable. All outdoor restrooms close at the end of October due to lack of heating.The city plans to repair the damage before the restrooms reopen in the spring, Service Director John Liskovic said
Liskovic said money to repair the Reese Park restrooms will either come from the service department or the parks department budgets. He said the city is beginning to look at quotes from contractors and using anti-vandalism materials.
“Everything is still reeling from COVID in terms of delays,” Liskovic said. “Most places still have an eight-week wait from the ordering date.”
There are internal conversations about preventing further vandalism by adding cameras at the bathrooms, but Gillespie and Liskovic said no decisions have been made.
“It's unfortunate, sad and frustrating that this happened in Reese Park,” Liskovic said.
Gillespie is asking the public for help in solving this case. He said whoever is responsible will be charged.
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