Fairview Park police launch hate crime investigation after LGBT center vandalized with racist graffiti

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 1:50 PM EDT
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FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio (WOIO) - Fairview Park police said officers are investigating a hate crime after an LGBTQ+ advocacy center was vandalized overnight.

Officers are now working to identify the suspect, who police said was caught on camera during the crime.

Fairview Park police said the person seen below spray painted racist graffiti on the exterior of Colors+ Youth Center on Lorain Road.

According to Fairview Park police, the suspect also tossed a brick through the window, aiming at a displayed Black Lives Matter flag.

Police said the suspect did not enter the building.

But residents like Ryan Neuhaus, a father of five who has lived in the community for ten years are angered and hurt, believing the suspect from the community, “My son, he’s gay and he was pretty hurt by this, and my wife, him and I all had the conversation. We can’t understand why this level of hatred is still happening.”

Colors+ Youth Center released a statement on Facebook announcing that Friday night programming was canceled:

“This morning we discovered that the COLORS+ Center was vandalized. The front windows were damaged and no one was injured. The building administration and authorities are on the scene assessing the situation.

We know that in the current social and political climate, acts of violence create anxiety and threaten physical and psychological safety. There will be no programming at the Center tonight as we make repairs and assess for any losses.

We prioritize the safety and well-being of the visitors and staff at COLORS+ and are taking steps to create a safe environment for all.

We knew this was a possibility with more visibility, but more than anything we want youth to know that we’re not going anywhere. Black lives matter. Trans Lives Matter. LGBTQ+ lives matter. We will continue to fight to have a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth and families.”

Detectives are also working to find out if the suspect in this hate crime is related to a racial slur spray painted on June 12th, just down the road at the Fairview Park Shopping Center.

Anyone with information is asked to call Fairview Park police at 440-333-1234.

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