Investigators ask for help finding suspect who planted acid-type bottle devices in parks

Investigators in Dad Clark Park in Highlands Ranch, Colo

Investigators in Dad Clark Park in Highlands Ranch, Colo

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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- The Douglas County Sheriff's office is turning to the public for help finding those responsible for planting acid-type bottle devices in Highlands Ranch parks this week.

A group of young children discovered the first bottle device at Dad Clark Park on Tuesday. The bottle exploded and spilled acid on a child, causing minor injuries.

A patrol officer discovered the second device in nearby Marcy Park a day later. The bottle did not explode, but also contained some kind of acid.

The sheriff's office is also asking people to be on the lookout for bottles that might look suspicious or left in the open. They would have the cap on them and some kind of substance inside. If you see something they ask that you don't approach it. Call 911 instead.

“It’s a little bit frightening for all of us I think," said Jon Chesser, who frequents the park with his young family. “With two different places it kind of makes you think … I don’t know, it’s a little more thought out.”

Sgt. Ron Hanavan, with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, says that's among many things investigators are looking into.

“We still don’t know exactly if they were related or not, obviously it was suspicious that we would have two of these circumstances within the same week,” Hanavan said.

He says it's also why they're encouraging parents to talk to their kids.

“We’re not asking folks to deter their weekend plans but we do want to, obviously, advise people to be vigilant," Sgt. Hanavan said.

Kent Allison lives across the street from Dad Clark Park with his family. He says he's talked to his kids about safety but that the incidents won't stop them from enjoying the area.

“That was part of the reason we came out here today," Allison said. We just didn’t want to give the impression we’re going to hole up in our house somewhere.”

Chesser says his family will be cautious but will also be back.

“This should be a place where the kids can come out and not worry about that kind of stuff," he said.​

The Douglas County Sheriff's office has increased patrols around the parks. They have also been working with schools to get the word out and keep an eye on playgrounds. ​

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