Parents and their children discovered several anti-Semitic writings scrawled around the Glen Park Playground on Wednesday. The graffiti was cleaned in a matter of hours, and it’s being investigated as a possible hate crime.
Several large swastikas, epithets and phallic images on a mural depicting playful children outside the recreation center came as a shock to Tristan Seifer, who arrived at the playground with her kids about 11 a.m.
“It was unbelievably extensive and incredibly graphic,” she said. “There were swastikas everywhere. I was surprised that there were people staying there with their children.”
Seifer, who is Jewish and lives in the neighborhood, said she hasn’t seen anything like it in the park.
“Occasionally there is some mild tagging, but this stuff wasn’t tagging,” she said. “This was a message to everyone.”
Police and Recreation and Park Department officials were already taking pictures of the damage and starting to clean up when Seifer arrived. Joe Padilla, head of the paint shop for Rec and Park, came in on his day off to clean up the mess.
Most of the graffiti was painted over by the afternoon, although the mural writings required a special solvent and was still unfinished. Supervisor Bevan Dufty, whose district includes the park, praised Padilla for his quick attention to the matter and called the vandalism hate-fueled.
“It’s unsettling, but heartening that one city employee can really make a difference,” Dufty said.