Photo Courtesy of NYC Park Advocates
The anti-gay statements and swastikas were spray painted on rocks and trees in the park.
By Michael V. Cusenza
City Parks Department staffers recently discovered anti-Semitic and anti-gay messages scrawled on numerous rocks and tree trunks inside Forest Park, according to a report on a widely recognized blog that chronicles green spaces in the five boroughs.
The “disturbing graffiti,” which included swastikas and phrases such as “I Kill GAY PPL” and “KILL GAY ppl,” was found last week in Forest Park off the orange trail between Park Lane South and the closed road by 112th Street, Geoffrey Croft, founder of NYC Park Advocates, wrote on A Walk in the Park.
The hate-vandalism was documented and reported to police. According to Croft, the incident is “being investigated by authorities as a case of criminal mischief,” although it was unclear whether cops were classifying the case as a bias crime.
Over the course of the past 13 months, enhanced security measures have been installed in and around the 544-acre park that straddles several borough communities. In June, the City Police Department posted solar-powered emergency call boxes in parts of the massive green space, roughly a year after crews installed 14 long-delayed high-tech surveillance cameras at the park.
The 17 maize-colored boxes were paid for by funds secured through the offices of Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) and City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park). Following a string of sexual assaults in the popular park, State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Miller allocated $250,000 for the cameras in 2013. Authorities attributed the six attacks to a single perpetrator.