Soapy prank at Colonnade fountain: Kids love bubbles, but vandals apparently make clean getaway

Passers-by at the Colonnade shopping center in Patton Township had to do a double-take Monday as they drove by the fountain at the main gate.

It appears soap had been dumped into the main fountain off Colonnade Boulevard, about 100 yards in front of the Target store. Tuesday morning, suds were still apparent, although the fountain was off and being drained.

It was probably just a prank, Patton Township Police Chief John Petrick said Tuesday morning. Petrick said the property owners did not report the incident to police.

“Neither Target nor the property owners did report it to us, so we’re not investigating right now,” Petrick said.

Allied Retail Properties, the property owner of the 356,433-square-foot shopping center that includes Wegmans, Target, Kohls and a host of other retail shops and restaurants, did not return calls for comment Tuesday morning. It is based in Wilmington, Del.

Will Bishop, a CATA bus driver, said he saw the soapy fountain several times on his route Monday.

“I noticed driving by about 9 or 10 o’clock (Monday), there are two fountains and a trough,” said Bishop, a CATA driver for about three years. “There had to be at one time 2 to 3 feet of foam bubbles or soap coming out of that troth, and it was blowing across the parking lot.”

Bishop said there were, at one point, 10 to 15 children playing in the soapy fountains.

“From 30 to 50 yards away, it looked like snow,” he said. “It was blowing across the parking lot.”

As of Monday afternoon, the fountains had been drained, but soap was still apparent, clinging to the water features.

“I guess the sad thing is that they drained it, and I’m really hoping they turn it back on,” Bishop said. “We have a few layovers here, and the fountain is nice to look at. I enjoy it.”