Florida police warn: Pouring dish soap into $30K fountain isn't a prank; it's a felony

Florida police warn: Pouring dish soap into $30K fountain isn't a prank; it's a felony

The Belle Isle Police Department took to Facebook on Friday morning to give the public a stern talking to about the dire consequences of what vandals might consider a prank. (Photo: Belle Isle Police Department)

​​​​​​​BELLE ISLE, Fla. — And this is why we can't have nice things.

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The Belle Isle Police Department took to Facebook on Friday morning to give the public a stern talking to about the dire consequences of what vandals might consider a prank.

Earlier this week, the city of Belle Isle unveiled a new fountain at the roundabout at Nela Avenue and Lake Drive near Lake Conway's picturesque Nela Bridge, the agency said.

"We had hoped that this installation would be something for all residents to enjoy. But unfortunately, it has already been vandalized," the post said. "To those who consider it a funny and harmless prank to put dish soap into the filtration system, be aware that criminal mischief damage to the ($30,000) fountain is a felony and will be prosecuted to the full extent the law allows."

The post went on to outline the long-term consequences of becoming a felon.

"Being convicted of a felony is a serious event with lifelong consequences," the post said. "As many teenagers are on their summer break from school, this is a good opportunity to remind them of the dire consequences to their future should they participate in this type of behavior."

Police reminded Facebook users that felons lose civil rights, such as the right to vote; the right to sit on a jury; and the right to own, possess or use a gun.

"Convicted felons are also prohibited from certain employment, such as law enforcement, the school system and hospitals," the post said. "Often times, employers will automatically reject applicants due to a felony conviction or will state on the job offer that the applicant must have a clean criminal background in order to apply."

The agency said many universities and professional licensing offices have similar automatic rejection rules.