Police in Henrico (Va.) are investigating vandalism at the Tuckahoe Little League complex.
The vandalism could be reported as a hate crime because of the language and pictures on the building, including “White Power,” a swastika, and messages about immigrants.
“It would be premature for me to assume that,” said Lt. Chris Garrett, the public information officer for Henrico police. “If it rose to that nature, we would investigate it that way.”
There also is graffiti and damage inside the bathrooms, including broken sinks and mirrors.
The damage was found by a Parks and Recreation employee this morning at about 5:45 when the park was opened. The county owns the facility.
Will Jones, a senior public relations specialist for Henrico County, said the county is estimating the damage at $5,500. The park is open with the except of the bathrooms. He said repairs are expected to be finished early next week with most of the graffiti already gone by mid-afternoon Thursday.
“It’s unfortunate and disturbing, but we’re actively cleaning it up,” he said. “We’ll have it back into shape shortly. … There’s been prior vandalism and graffiti incidents but nothing of this magnitude. Usually that kind of stuff coincides with break in the school schedule, but we don’t know who’s done this. You never like to see that. The police are following it up and taking this seriously and actively investigating.”
Brydon DeWitt, the president of Tuckahoe Little League, said officials were “shocked and terribly upset” by the vandalism.
“Almost everything has already been restored to get back to where it needs to be,” he said Thursday. “Such terrible graffiti is bad enough in and of itself, but to be inflicted on our little league park is horrifying.
“We don’t think it’s the actions of a hate group and is just some kids tying to write the worst possible things they can think of. We don’t want to think it would be more than that. … We’re grateful to the county for acting so swiftly to fix everything and remove the graffiti.”