Swastikas find swastikas at Ann Arbor skate park

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor police are searching for the people who spray-painted swastikas and racial slurs at a skate park.

Officials said police were called about 8 a.m. Friday about the graffiti at the skate park, which is located within Veterans Memorial Park on Jackson Avenue and North Maple Road.

Officers found graffiti in and around the skate park area, they said.

City officials said Friday the park is closed for the day to enable crews to clean up the graffiti. They also said it's not clear if the park would reopen Friday.

The skate park is a free, 30,000-square-foot facility opened June 21, 2014. 

Trevor Staples, who helped lead the effort to get the skate park built and is a member of the Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark, said the graffiti was spray-painted in 12 to 20 different places. He also said the culprits dumped motor oil on areas of the park.

"It's a pretty big mess," he said.

He said he's not surprised it happened.

"With all that's been going on the past year or two, it's not surprising that this would happen," Staples said. "It's super-disappointing and hurtful and hateful, but definitely not surprising."

Staples said some of his friends are wondering if the graffiti is connected to a racial slur that was spray-painted at Concordia University's race track earlier this month.

Ann Arbor police are looking for two young males for questioning in the incident.


They ask anyone who can ID either suspect or who has information about the case to call Det. Ellinger at (734) 794-6930 ext. 49306 or email him at aellinger@a2gov.org

He said he doesn't know, but he urges anyone with information about the vandals to help police find them. "I'm assuming it's not someone from Ann Arbor, but that's just my assumption," he said.

On Friday, he posted the following message on his Instagram account

"If you have any clue who might have done this (we know it's not users of the skatepark), please contact the police," he said. "Unfortunately, due to the extent of the damage and vandalism, the skate park may need to be closed for the entire day."

Police said anyone with information about the graffiti or the people responsible should call the department's tipline at (734) 794-6939 or email tips to TIPS@a2gov.org.

A $500 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case, officials said.

Meanwhile, police said they are stepping up patrols in the area as well as around the city's other parks because of the incident.