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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Annandale Park desecrated with anti-Semitic graffiti



The kiosk at Americana Park.

Americana Park in Annandale was desecrated by vandals at some point on April 8 who drew large swastikas and extremely offensive anti-Semitic slogans on the kiosk, pavement, signs, and Little River Turnpike overpass. They also smashed the glass on a kiosk with a rock.

The photo published here—and others showing much more hateful graffiti—were taken April 9 by a member of Friends of Accotink Creek.

Americana Park is adjacent to Wakefield Park and the Cross County Trail and close to the beltway and Route 236. It is in the Braddock supervisory district and West Springfield Police District.

Capt. Kathleen Sefchick, West Springfield police commander, said police are investigating this as “a bias incident.” She isn’t aware of any other recent similar incidents.

Lindsey Smith, a senior aide to Braddock Supervisor John Cook, said a constituent called to report the graffiti yesterday morning. Smith notified the Fairfax County Park Authority, although he was unaware of the extent of the damage until he saw the photos. “This is much more horrible than I thought. This is just reprehensible,” he said.

Alan Crofford, of the park operations division in the Fairfax County Park Authority, sent a crew to the site this morning to clean it up. They took pictures of the graffiti before removing it.

At that time it wasn’t clear if the police had already been there. The Park Authority felt it needed to be taken down right away due to the offensive nature of the graffiti, rather than wait for police to conduct an investigation to identify the perpetrator. “Based on past experience, photos are sufficient,” said parks spokesperson Judy Pedersen.

Cook released the following statement in response to what he calls the “disturbing anti-Semitic graffiti at Americana Park: The county is committed to searching for the perpetrators and bringing them to justice. Such actions have no place in our community. We must continue our work to ensure that all residents enjoy the safe, respectful Annandale that I know. I commend the Fairfax County Park Authority for its quick work restoring the park to a welcoming place for families.”

Crofford said he hasn’t seen a particular emphasis on anti-Semitic graffiti in county parks, although there have been gang graffiti and other types of vandalism.

There were 14 graffiti incidents in Fairfax County parks so far in fiscal year 2014, Pedersen reports. That compares to 17 in 2013, 15 in 2012, and 29 in 2011. The worst year was 2009, when there were 62 graffiti incidents. “Nine times out of 10, they are gang related,” she said.

“There’s a wide gamut of bad behavior. It costs taxpayers money,” said Pedersen, who cited incidents of people cutting down trees and driving on fields. “It’s all offensive,” she said. 

Anyone with information about who might have vandalized Americana Park is asked to contact Crime Solvers by calling 866-411-TIPS/8477 or texting “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131. 

5 comments:

  1. This is what happens when the County ignores nuisance crimes and does not enforce the law..........you get hate. FFX do you job and start enforcing your laws!

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    1. Damn right! We need police presence everywhere, all the time, or at least 24x7 video surveillance of the entire county. I can't believe this lack of enforcement. And while we're at it, someone needs to do something about the taxes we pay - they're too high!

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    2. Yea, and if they spent our taxes on the right things like schools, infrastructure, and crime fighting we may even get a return. Your taxes right now go on wasteful social issues that the County has no business administering.

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    3. What do you mean?

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  2. Remember to report any type of grafitti seen on bldgs., fences, VDOT signs, etc. Go to http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/reportcrime and report it to the Fx Cty Police Dept. online.

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