Vandalism Investigated as Possible Hate Crime: Dallas Police - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Vandalism Investigated as Possible Hate Crime: Dallas Police



    Vandals used bright red spray paint to deface at least six different locations in Dallas. Police say it could be a hate crime and their may be others. (Published Monday, June 30, 2014)

    Dallas Police are investigating a possible hate crime after graffiti was discovered in six places around Oak Lawn and Downtown Dallas.

    666, known as the mark of the devil, was found in bright red paint in three areas known for the prominence of LGBT population. The Cathedral of Hope, the world's largest gay and lesbian church, was targeted as was the Legacy of Love monument farther down Cedar Springs Road at the Oak Lawn intersection. In addition, police say the Dallas North Tollway overpass at Cedar Springs was also defaced.

    "Bewilderment, I could not believe it," said Brenda Marks, president of the Oak Lawn Committee.

    The same markings, all bearing similar paint and handwriting, were also found at the Dallas Observer, The Dallas Morning News and D Magazine.

    "I'm disappointed, I don't think hate is ever the right answer," said Todd Whitley, a member of Cathedral of Hope. "Even if we don't like each other, don't understand each other, we don't have to do stuff like this."

    Whitley and others spent the day Sunday scrubbing the bright red paint from the Legacy of Love monument. It now appears to be removed from the Cathedral of Hope and the Dallas Morning News as well.

    "I'm one of those people that believes we've all evolved beyond this," said Marks.

    "Obviously it's distasteful," said Oak Lawn resident Ryan Penner. "It's vandalism, I can't say I'm for it, but I can't say that I hate them."

    Police say they have few leads, but they are investigating this as a potential hate crime.

    "Just because one June is gay pride month, the locations of course are of significance, and also because of what was written," said Lt. Eno Fite with the Dallas Police Department.

    They have scoured the area looking for video surveillance that may give them an idea of who is behind the vandalism, but so far police haven't had any luck.

    "We're hoping somebody saw something, whether it's a vehicle, a person walking down the street with a backpack, just anything " said Detective Kevin Janse. "We'll start with the smallest of leads or tips."