Lakewood children chalk messages of love over swastikas spray painted in neighborhood

Anyone with information is asked to call the Lakewood Police Department at 216-521-6773. (Source: Lakewood Police Department)
Anyone with information is asked to call the Lakewood Police Department at 216-521-6773. (Source: Lakewood Police Department)

LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) - Lakewood residents were chalking messages of love next to three swastikas after they woke up to the symbols spray painted on their sidewalks Wednesday morning on Belle Avenue.

"Sometimes you have a rude awakening that not everyone around you shares the same values and ideals It's a learning experience," said neighbor Rachel Donaldson.

Lakewood Police also said a car was damaged and a window was broken. So far there are no suspects. Officers said they are not investigating this as a hate crime, but vandalism charges could be filed.

Lakewood Council member Tom Bullock wishes they could wash away the hate the same way crews cleared the paint.

"These ugly racist ideas are totally without place in America because the attack our core principals," Bullock said.

Marilyln Wangler has lived on the street for 40 years and said she's never seen anything like this.

"It's disheartening. You wonder if what happened this weekend in Charlottesville added to this. It's sad to see this," she said.

State Rep. Nickie Antonio lives in the neighborhood and gathered up some of the kids to spread a different message.

"I don't think it's coincidental at all. I think these are really trying times for us. Race relations and tensions are at an all-time high, at least as long as I can remember in my lifetime," Donaldson said.

Antonio gave chalk to kids on the street so they could draw hearts and messages of love.

"The message is we love our neighbors that live here. We love this community. We have nothing but love for each other," Antonio said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Lakewood Police Department at 216-521-6773.

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