DENVER (KDVR) — Dozens of people in Washington Park West woke up Tuesday morning to find their vehicles vandalized with racist and anti-Semitic words and symbols.
“I went out for a run this morning,” Jenn Michael told FOX31. “On the way back, that’s when I noticed all the hoods and everything were vandalized with either derogatory terms, racial slurs.”
According to the Denver Police Department, about 15 vehicles were damaged with white paint. The person or people responsible tagged car doors, hoods, windows, license plates, headlights and taillights.
“Went to go check on my husband’s car and he had some words all across the side of his,” Michael said.
Some found their vehicles spray-painted with swastikas, while other vehicles were vandalized with a racial slur against Black people or the phrase “Made in Mexico.” Others found their headlights and taillights covered in the white paint.
Neighbors believe it is a hate crime.
“It definitely makes you aware that racism is in our community, close by,” Annika Mueller said.
Several people described the crime as “disgusting” and “shocking”.
“In this neighborhood, there’s a lot of BLM flags in windows and signs. A lot of LGBTQ support in this neighborhood, and it’s crazy to see this here,” Ryan Turch said.
Those targeted said they were able to clean off most if the spray paint, but it left residue showing remnants of the racist messages on their vehicle’s paint.
Mike Blanton lives nearby and often parks in the area. He said he feels there is no safe place to park in the neighborhood any longer.
“It’s almost like pick your poison. The busier street, you’re more likely to get sideswiped, and the side street is more likely to have vandalism,” Blanton said.
DPD is investigating the crime. No one has been arrested. Police encourage anyone with information to call our partners at Metro Denver Crime Stoppers (720-913-STOP).