B.C. playground defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti
Jenna Owsianik, ctvbc.ca
Published Monday, May 17, 2010 7:01PM PDT
The Victoria Police Department is asking the public for help in catching the vandals who painted a children's playground with anti-Semitic graffiti.
"Somebody probably knows something. Maybe the people who did this aren't aware of their carelessness, but it's very hurtful," Cst. Rick Anthony told ctvbc.ca.
The Victoria playground located in Clawthorpe Park was marked with swastikas and offensive language between the hours of 6 p.m. on May 10 and 5 p.m. on May 11, police said.
"I never experienced anything--not before, not after--that could give me leads to someone that could do something like this," said Rabbi Meir Kaplan of the Chabad of Vancouver Island.
Kaplan discovered the graffiti on May 11 after a friend phoned him and urged him to hurry to the park.
"Each structure in the playground was covered with a kind of graffiti that I have never seen before with my own eyes," he wrote on his blog.
Kaplan told ctvbc.ca that he doesn't believe anyone is concerned about their personal safety or that the vandalism reflects the atmosphere of the city. He said people are upset and feel like it shouldn't have happened.
Cst. Anthony said that the vandals likely chose the playground because many Jewish children play there and many members of the Jewish faith walk through it on their way to synagogue.
Without any forensic evidence or video surveillance footage police don't have a lot to go on.
Anthony said the last time he remembers a similar hateful act occurring in Victoria was eight or nine years ago when a synagogue was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti.
"This is something that doesn't happen very often, so when it does it hits a lot of points," said Anthony. "Who does this type of thing?"