CHICAGO (CBS) — Northwest Side residents describe the people responsible for spray-painting a school as insidious and hateful.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov spoke to neighbors who want to know why they were targeted and who is behind it.
It’s gone now, except for a few traces of red. But Sunday, the entrance wall at Beard Elementary School in Norwood Park was covered with red spray-painted slurs and symbols.
“Everything that was written in words was hate and any symbol was hate,” said resident Paul Olson.
There was a swastika and an offensive words for those with mental disabilities on a school for young children with special needs.
“it seemed to be a hateful word targeting kids who went there to me,” said Phil Mole.
Mole’s six-year-old son Mikey is one of beard’s students. The family loves the school, making the vandalism even more upsetting. And it wasn’t just spray paint on the entrance wall. Other school walls and neighborhood garages and cars were hit, too.
“It was extremely disturbing,” Mole said. “This is very atypical. Not a lot of things like that happen there.”
Chicago detectives and the department’s hate crimes unit is now investigating.
“The messaging here, it was insidious,” said 45th Ward Alderman John Arena.
Arena personally went to Beard Sunday night, to look at the graffiti and help clean it up, which the city and residents did, before young students like Mikey arrived first thing Monday morning.
“I would hope they not just catch the person, but they find a wat to pay it back,” said Olson.
The alderman says, unfortunately, the school only has real-time security cameras that do not record.
Police say they are taking the incident seriously.