Restrooms closed over vandalism

The actions of a few have led to negative consequences for the community.

Due to ongoing vandalism, the City of Warren has locked the restrooms at DeFrees Playground.

“We’ve had a series of vandalism issues with that restroom over the last month or so,” Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz said. “The city is going to keep that restroom facility closed for a while.”

City officials did not indicate how long the facilities will remain closed.

“It’s a shame we have to do this,” Holtz said. “The last few weeks when we’ve gone in to clean DeFrees, the damage has been excessive.”

The vandalism has included toilets and urinals clogged with sand and towels, all towels and toilet paper removed, “a partition got ripped off the wall,” and other incidents, Holtz said.

The cleaning contractor and DPW workers have had to put in extra time and facilities at the restroom.

Although there has been vandalism at Beaty Park’s restroom, the damage and frequency have been less severe and that facility will remain open.

DeFrees was one of the playgrounds removed from the list of parks with supervised summer activities this year. Holtz said that could have played a role in the increased vandalism.

He asked neighbors, passersby, and people at the playground to “keep an eye on it.” Anyone who notices anything inappropriate at the playground is asked to contact city police at 723-2700.