Caution tape surrounds the exit of a slide located at the Project Playground at Twin Lakes Park Friday morning. Two slides were vandalized with bear spray earlier this week, resulting in multiple injuries. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Caution tape surrounds the exit of a slide located at the Project Playground at Twin Lakes Park Friday morning. Two slides were vandalized with bear spray earlier this week, resulting in multiple injuries. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

At least two children suffer injuries after going down slides covered in bear spray

An investigation is underway, no suspects have been identified at this time, police say.

This is a developing story.

The city has closed off the two large slides located at the playground at Twin Lakes Park after at least two children suffered injuries after going down the slides believed to be vandalized and covered in bear spray.

According to Michele Elfers, deputy director of the City and Borough of Juneau Parks and Recreation Department, the two slides will remain closed at least through the weekend and into the next week after multiple rounds of cleaning failed to remove the spray’s residue.

“We’re going to let it sit for a few days and see if it is able to be cleaned,” she said. “We’ll do our best and reassess in the coming days what we need to do to make them safe or if we have to replace them.”

Elfers said following an initial report of injury around noon Wednesday, park maintenance staff did some investigating and found an empty can of bear spray in a trash can near the park, which is believed to be the source of the injuries.

According to Juneau Police Department Lt. Krag Campbell, police received a report via its online reporting system from the Parks and Recreation Department stating its staff had received a call about a child that was sent to the ER after having a severe reaction going down the slide.

As of Friday afternoon, Campbell said police are “playing catch-up” and are in the early stages of investigation. He said it is too early to say if the incident was intentional, but noted, “it is a very unusual place to use bear spray.”

He said there are no suspects at this time. Both Elfers and Campbell said neither of them could recall a similar incident.

In a public Facebook post, a woman said her granddaughter ended up in the emergency room after going down one of the slides Thursday evening.

“She played on a few other things, then went back to the slide. She immediately started screaming because her eyes and skin was burning,” the post stated. “Someone is intentionally being malicious and trying to hurt kids.”

According to the post, a CBJ employee told the woman a similar incident had occurred days prior and the equipment was power washed.

Elfer said the park does not have cameras, and the rest of the park is open for public use.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651) 528-1807.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of June 8

Here’s what to expect this week.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Man dies after being struck by truck while laying in drive-through lane near Mendenhall post office

Armando Sanchez, 38, struck during early morning hours of June 1; JPD notified of death Tuesday.

Curtis Davis sharpens a spike at his makeshift campsite near Juneau International Airport on Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
With no official place to camp, homeless and neighborhoods alike are suffering miseries

Complaints to JPD nearly double, social agencies seek “safety zone,” many campers just want peace.

Alaska Supreme Court Justice Peter Maassen receives applause from his fellow justices and members of the Alaska Legislature during the annual State of the Judiciary address on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at the Alaska State Capitol. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Gov. Dunleavy will be asked to pick fourth state Supreme Court justice

Applications being accepted to replace Peter Maassen, who reaches mandatory retirement age next year

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, June 10, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Pins supporting the repeal of ranked choice voting are seen on April 20 at the Republican state convention in Anchorage. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska ranked choice repeal measure wins first round of legal challenge, but trial awaits

Correction: The initial version of this article incorrectly listed Alaskans for Better… Continue reading

Juneau resident Ajah Rose Bishop, 21, suffered severe spinal injuries in a single-vehicle accident early Saturday morning. (GoFundMe fundraiser photo)
Woman breaks spine in single-vehicle collision on Egan Drive early Saturday morning

21-year-old Juneau resident medivaced to Anchorage, online fundraising effort underway.

Shannan Greene (left) and Sharyn Augustine hold signs on April 27 urging residents to sign recall petitions for Juneau Board of Education President Deedie Sorensen and Vice President Emil Mackey due to their roles in a budget crisis for the current fiscal year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
School board recall petitions submitted; supporters of Saturday cruise ship ban need more signatures

Third initiative seeking to repeal default by-mail elections also has 10 days to get more signers.

Most Read