Owner estimates laundromat vandalism damage at $40,000

Hunter Herbaugh Ranger-review Staff Writer
Sunday, December 5, 2021
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The Clothesline Laundromat was heavily vandalized last weekend, resulting in thousands of dollars in damages. A suspect has been apprehended and charged with the damage, with the extent of the damage being enough to qualify as a felony. Hunter Herbaugh photo

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Among the items damaged at the laundromat were sinks, washing machines and windows. Repairs are underway but the facility will have reduced hours. Submitted photo

The Clothesline Laundromat, located at 609 N. Merrill Ave., was heavily vandalized last weekend, resulting in operations changes while repairs are made.

According to Glendive Police Department Chief John Hickman, the incident occurred at approximately 1:46 a.m. on Nov. 27. An individual identified as Jack Parkhurst was arrested at the scene and charged with criminal mischief. Hickman noted that the damage caused was well in excess of $1,500, making it a felony offense.

Parkhurst is currently being held at the Dawson County Jail. The case has been bound over to district court.

Joe Humble, owner of the laundromat, said he is shocked at the amount of damage that was done, estimating it to be around $40,000 at least. Among the many items damaged or destroyed were the bathroom sink, toilet, several machines, washing sink and several windows. It also appeared that someone urinated on the floor.

He said that the incident likely began earlier that evening, saying it was reported to him that an unidentified man had entered the laundromat and began urinating on the floor. There were other patrons in the facility at that time who then requested that the man leave. Humble is not aware if police were called at that time, as he did not receive a call until some time after the vandalism occurred.

“This guy came in, urinated on the floor apparently on Friday late afternoon or evening and people asked him to leave. I don’t know if the police came out ... but they called me at 4 o’clock in the morning and the place was trashed,” Humble said. “I had 20 driers and 24 washing machines, I had maybe four out, not working, now I have five, five working machines.”

While some machines received minimal damage and may be able to be fixed, there are several machines that will have to be replaced.

Until such time that more of the damage has been fixed, the facility will no longer be open 24 hours, instead being open from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Humble noted that he doesn’t like making this change as there is a not-insignificant number of people that regularly wash their clothes late at night, but believes it is necessary to prevent further damage.

“I don’t know how long we’re gonna do that, but when I come to Glendive, I’ll go down there at like 9 o’clock, 10 o’ clock, midnight, something like that and there’s people down there. They come late and do their laundry and they’re not bothered. Sometimes I go down at three in the morning and there’s people down there,” he said.

Reach Hunter Herbaugh at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.