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'Fake blood' splattered in Vancouver's Chinatown by group wearing clown wigs

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A group of young men wearing clown wigs splashed a red substance onto the walls of Vancouver's Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on Saturday afternoon, according to the executive director.

Lorraine Lowe says volunteers noticed the group, who appeared to be filming the incident, around 3:30 p.m.

"It looked like they had some sort of message to deliver. They were wearing clown wigs and their faces were painted," she said, describing the substance sprayed on the wall as "fake blood" and noting that the vandals left some equipment littered in their wake.

"They were quite distinct and they stuck out clearly."

While the motive remains unclear and none of those responsible have been identified, Lowe says the incident is yet another example of a "disheartening" trend of increased vandalism in the neighbourhood since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are always being targeted, please don't kick us while we're down," Lowe said.

"I think it's an ongoing battle to try to figure out a way to deter this sort of behavior. It's been going on for quite some time now."

The Vancouver Police Department, announcing a recent arrest of a suspect in a spate of incidents, said reports of graffiti have gone up 455 per cent since 2019. In some cases, the graffiti has been explicitly hateful and racist. Lowe says the apparent targeting of the garden, a memorial statue, and the lions guarding the gates to Chinatown is an attack on the community, its culture and its history.

"It sends a message of anti-Asian hate," she says.

CTV News has reached out to The Vancouver Police Department and the Vancouver Park Board for information. This story will be updated if responses are received.

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