The apartment building on Water Street in Glen Rock where, police say, a man was running a meth lab out of one of the units.
The apartment building on Water Street in Glen Rock where, police say, a man was running a meth lab out of one of the units. (DAILY RECORD / SUNDAY NEWS -- EILEEN JOYCE)

On Saturday, all was quiet around the old apartment building -- condemned as structurally unsafe -- in the first block of Water Street in Glen Rock.

The day before, the building was swarmed by police, who removed what they said was a crude, clandestine methamphetamine lab that one resident allegedly was operating in one of the eight occupied apartments in the cavernous structure. The only sign that anything had been amiss was the yellow crime scene tape still hanging from the railing at the building's side entrance in an alley.

Tom Johnson and his daughter, Megan Gettle, live in the building, at least until the first week of August, when they, as well as the building's other residents, will relocate. They said the building was condemned because of damage from last year's flooding, and the damage caused by a tenant who, in a fit of pique, responded to his eviction a few months back by sawing through the floor joists of his second-floor apartment with a reciprocating saw.

"He was always in there, cutting something with that Sawzall," Johnson said, mystified by his former neighbor's motives.

But they never saw, or smelled, anything unusual from the apartment in the back on the building where the meth lab was reportedly located.

"It was a little scary," said Johnson, who works in tree service. "But he's gone and it's done."

Neither Johnson nor Gettle knew their neighbor, Richard Daniel Boone, 43, who now stands accused of operating a meth lab in the building for about a year. He was jailed on $85,000 bail after police responding to a domestic dispute between Boone and his girlfriend discovered the lab.

"They showed his face (on TV news reports) and I never saw the guy before," Johnson said.

Since the operation of such a lab involves the use of flammable, caustic and possibly explosive chemicals, police evacuated the building while technicians from the state police removed the hazardous material. Johnson and Gettle were out of their place all day.

"It was a pain," Johnson said. "I couldn't even go to work."

He thought about it and said, "It's Glen Rock."

Not really, others said.

Glen Rock is a sleepy, little town, best known as home to the Glen Rock Mill Inn, which attracts customers from all over for its legendary crab cakes, and as a stop on the York County Heritage Rail Trail. Before the meth lab bust, the most notorious incident in town occurred in 2003 when a runaway dump truck lost its brakes on the main street's steep hill and crashed into four cars, killing a woman and her 11-year-old daughter.

Richard Daniel Boone is charged with operating a meth lab.
Richard Daniel Boone is charged with operating a meth lab. (Submitted)

Mostly, residents describe Glen Rock as quiet and they don't appreciate that the town has now been associated with what's known as the poor man's cocaine. They certainly don't want people thinking that Glen Rock is the meth capital of York County.

"I hate it," Cindy Duzan, one of the owners of the Glen Rock Mill Inn, said while weeding the flower bed in front of the restaurant. "I hate to see it. It's not good for the town and it's not good for the people in town."

Caitlan Kennedy, who works at Nicole's Ice Cream and Snowballs, right on the rail trail, said, "Definitely, it's a shocker. I guess it could happen anywhere. But (Glen Rock's) such a small town."

Dave Tracey, who has Dave's Garage, right across the street from the building, grew up in Glen Rock and has lived and worked in what he calls "this three-horse town" all of his life. He was surprised that someone could operate a meth lab for any period of time in town without being discovered because "everybody knows everybody and their business." He speculated that Boone wasn't a native.

"Glen Rock's a nice little town. Always was," he said. "I guess this puts Glen Rock on the map. It can happen in any small town, I suppose. It's a shame, but what're you going to do?"

The charges

Richard Daniel Boone, 43, of Glen Rock faces one charge each of operating a methamphetamine laboratory, risking catastrophe, manufacturing of a controlled substance, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault and harassment. He faces two charges each of possession of a controlled substance and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

As of Saturday afternoon, he was in York County Prison in lieu of $85,000 bail.

Also of interest

The showdown in Vulture Gulch and other stories about Glen Rock, Pa.

Books about Glen Rock abound, and there's a lot of history to write about

Rocks of the Glen is a place where things happen.