By Kevin Deutsch
The vandal who spray-painted swastikas at Veterans’ Park in Tamarac Monday caused $10,400 in damages, targeting a city property that lacks a single security camera to deter such crimes, law enforcement records show.
One or more criminals used graffiti to cover the park’s dock, picnic tables, and a trash can with the Nazi symbols of hate, according to a Broward Sheriff’s Office incident report obtained by Tamarac Talk through a public records request.
Lettering was also spray-painted on the vandalized areas. A BSO Tamarac District deputy investigating the crime could not make out what the letters said, according to the report.
The symbols “may be gang-related,” the report states, leaving open the possibility the vandalism was committed by a hate group or other organized band of criminals.
The Tamarac deputy described the crime as being motivated by “anti-Jewish” hate or bias, the report shows.
The park ranger discovered the swastikas around 6:30 p.m. Monday while making his rounds at the park at 7825 Southgate Boulevard on the eve of local, state, and national elections.
Several sections of the incident report were redacted by BSO. Some of the removed sections appeared to provide more detail about the swastikas and possibly other graffiti.
Veterans’ Park, which is currently undergoing renovations, “does not have any surveillance cameras,” the report states.
“It is unknown who spray painted these symbols,” the Tamarac deputy wrote.
The deputy took photographs of the vandalism and placed them into evidence, the report states.
The deputy also notified a detective with the Tamarac District’s BSO Crime Suppression Team because of the potential gang connection, according to the document.
No arrests had been announced in the case as of Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Tamarac Mayor Michelle Gomez condemned the hateful vandalism, which coincides with what experts say is an alarming rise in antisemitic hate crimes and rhetoric in the United States.
“As Mayor of Tamarac and a member of the Jewish faith, I am appalled and ashamed at this heinous act,” Gomez wrote on Facebook. “On the eve of the 84th Anniversary of Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass), this resurgence of antisemitism is disturbing and painful.”
- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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