Police: Vandals hit multiple targets in West Ashley over 3 days

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Police are investigating multiple cases of vandalism in West Ashley over the since Friday.

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Cynthia Graham Hurd Library staff members discovered graffiti on a sidewalk, a column and an exterior wall of the building when they arrived for work Monday morning, Charleston County Library spokesperson Natalie Hauff said.

"We were disappointed to see that someone would deface a cherished public institution such as our library," Hauff said.

"The vandalism that occurred at the Cynthia Graham Hurd/St. Andrew's Regional Library is both unfortunate and sad," said County Council Chairman Vic Rawl. "There's no place for this sort of deplorable act in our community. Our libraries are places of education and growth for children and we'll assist law enforcement in any way possible."

Since 9 a.m., crews worked to pressure-wash several negative comments off the ground and wall at the entrance to the building.

"It's completely disgusting how someone could deface the public library where kids are," said Kayman Mazyck, of West Ashley.

Statements on the ground targeted straight and homosexual women. Words spray painted on the brick wall and column read, "Go to Hell Black Women, **** Crackers, **** da Police", and "**** the Government", according to a police report.

"I don't understand it," said Charlie Stricklin, who goes to the library often. "With all the problems going on in the world… You don't need to do this. This is not necessary."

The vandalism at the library was the most recent incident, police say.

"I don't think there is any understanding, just stupidity," Stricklin said. "I think there's way too much hate, and we need a whole lot more of loving and hugging."

Hurd was one of the nine victims of the massacre at Mother Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015.

Earlier Monday, police were called to a home in the 800 block of Playground Road at approximately 6 a.m. Police say someone spray-painted racial slurs on the home and profanity on the owner's vehicle.

"[It hit me hard], yeah it did, it really did," said Jamel Mitchell who lives at the home.

According to police, someone spray painted "fat *****" on the car, and words referencing homosexual African-Americans on the side of the house.

Mitchell said he ripped the siding off the house early this morning.

"I didn't want to keep it up there because it's my grandma's house," he said. "I didn't want to have it up there disrespecting my grandma."

Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis said the W.L. Stephens Aquatic Center was also vandalized. Police responded at approximately 7 a.m. Friday where someone spray-painted profanity and various racial slurs on a rear storage shed and a basketball court, an incident report states.

"[There were] remarks about whites and Hispanics," said Cainin Milton, who lives near the aquatics center.

According to a police report, there was no graffiti when the pool and park closed at 9 p.m. Thursday. The responding officers found "**** Yall White Devil" written on a shed door, as well as "No Crackers Allowed", "All White Men are ******* LOL" written on a handicapped parking spot.

"It's disappointing to see that people are doing this," Mitchell said. "It's gotta be somebody young. That's my guess, because I don't see anybody older and wiser wasting time doing something like this."

Crime scene techs responded and processed the scene. City of Charleston Public works crews also responded to clean the graffiti, including painting over the statement on the basketball court directed towards Hispanics.

"It's very disrespectful for some clown to come to the park that I grew up on… and see some disgusting remarks like that," Milton said.

Investigators are trying to determine if the incidents are related.

Anyone with information can call 843-743-7200 and ask for the on-duty CPD detective or Crime Stoppers at 843-554 -111.

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