Police: Natomas park playground vandalized with swastikas

9:25 PM, Sep 2, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - Sacramento police want to find out who vandalized a playground at a south Natomas park with swastikas and other hate graffiti.

Police responded Saturday at 6:47 a.m. to Orchard Park at 2936 West River Drive after a neighbor reported graffiti on playground equipment, tables, sidewalks, the skate park and even trees.

Lt. Norm Leong said the park was spray-painted with hateful messages, including swastikas and  an anti-gay slur.

"There's the hate aspect of this that we're really concerned about. Fortunately, we live in a community that's very intolerant of this type of behavior," Leong said.

Leong said the vandalism occurred sometime Friday night to early Saturday morning.

City crews responded and cleaned up most of the graffiti. But it could still be seen in places, including a silver swastika painted onto a tree and a four-letter word on a children's slide.

Parents said they can't understand why the usually quiet but popular park would have been targeted.

"You want to teach your kids that everybody's equal. You don't want to be exposed to these things when they come out here," said parent Anita Gomez.

Several kids at the park said they had been questioned about the incident by police.

"I come here to get away from everybody and to have a quiet moment to myself and not to be having gang stuff thrown in my face or racial slurs thrown in my face," said park regular Jon Allen.

Gomez couldn't help but think of the cost in a time of tight budgets.

"The money could be spent somewhere else," she said.


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